Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2011 about Data in Austin Convention Center

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Saturday 12th March 2011

  • Why Visualizing Government Data Makes Taxpayers Happy

    by Michael Castellon and Jeremiah Akin

    The expectation of transparency is creating demand for government agencies to develop new ways to communicate complex data and trends to the public in easy-to-access and easy-to-understand formats.

    Some agencies are turning to Google Maps and KML data to visualize raw information online and on mobile devices. Delivering data in more easily understandable formats not only boosts trust and confidence between government agencies and their publics, but also streamlines workloads among Data, Web, Editorial, and Customer Service teams.

    The Texas Comptroller is the state’s chief revenue officer, tax collector, and treasurer. The agency uses public-facing maps to communicate data and economic trends across the state, editorial coverage, and to promote initiatives such as its Unclaimed Property initiative, which works to reunite taxpayers with about $2 billion in unclaimed money and property.

    This discussion will focus on how agencies and other organizations can use free or inexpensive tools to deliver data to the public in both traditional online formats and mobile platforms, and how workflows can be arranged so that data visualization can be managed and administered by non-technical staff. We will also discuss how maps can be used internally to enhance strategic efforts.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Saturday 12th March

    In Room 9ABC, Austin Convention Center

  • Time Traveling: Interfaces for Geotemporal Visualization

    by Irene Ros, Ryan Shaw, Ana Boa-Ventura, Adam Rabinowitz and Nicholas Rabinowitz

    Displaying geography alone is easy: interactive maps are more and more a part of our everyday lives. Displaying time alone is easy: we are all familiar with charts and animations that show the passage of time. It is increasingly common to display time and space together in a single visual interface as well, but this combination has raised a number of new questions. There are few conventions or standards for geotemporal visualization, and we are still discovering which approaches are most effective for which datasets. Focusing particularly on historical data, this panel will explore issues in the modeling and visualization of geotemporal information, presenting existing approaches and discussing new trends.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Saturday 12th March

    In Ballroom B, Austin Convention Center

Sunday 13th March 2011

  • Data-Driven Government: Improving the Citizen Experience [Cancelled]

    by Julie Germany, Aneesh Chopra and Matt Lira

    Over the past several years, there have been many discussions regarding how interactive technology can drive change in our nation’s politics – but of perhaps greater importance is how technology can improve the daily functioning of our nation’s government.

    The discussion should not be a partisan one – this panel will bring together leading innovators from both parties to engage in a post-partisan discussion about how technology can improve the public’s interactions with their government.

    This discussion should be about specifics – we can all agree on the broad principles that technology drives change – but we have all heard that conversation before. This panel will focus on the specific progress that has been made, the specific opportunities that exist in the near future, and the specific challenges that need to be addressed.

    As citizens increasingly become on-demand consumers in their daily lives, it is clear that government needs to better utilize interactive technology or it will only be more radically disconnected from the public.

    This is not a political conference, which is precisely why it should be where this conversation takes place – how can the innovations from the creative, marketing and interactive communities be applied to improving our nation?

    Our government needs to modernize. We need to move forward and debate new ideas, focusing on how we can collectively make our government work smarter, faster and better for all citizens.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Sunday 13th March

    In Room 9ABC, Austin Convention Center

  • Solr Power FTW: Make NoSQL Your Bitch!

    by RC Johnson and Grant Ingersoll

    Solr is an open source, Lucene based search platform originally developed by CNET and used by the likes of Netflix, Yelp, and StubHub which has been rapidly growing in popularity and features during the last few years. Learn how Solr can be used as a Not Only SQL (NoSQL) database along the lines of Cassandra, Memcached, and Redis.
    NoSQL data stores are regularly described as non-relational, distributed, internet-scalable and are used at both Facebook and Digg.

    This presentation will quickly cover the fundamentals of NoSQL data stores, the basics of Lucene, and what Solr brings to the table. Following that we will dive into the technical details of making Solr your primary query engine on large scale web applications, thus relegating your traditional relational database to little more than a simple key store.

    Real solutions to problems like handling four billion requests per month will be presented. We'll talk about sizing and configuring the Solr instances to maintain rapid response times under heavy load. We'll show you how to change the schema on a live system with tens of millions of documents indexed while supporting real-time results. And finally, we'll answer your questions about ways to work around the lack of transactions in Solr and how you can do all of this in a highly available solution.

    LEVEL: Advanced

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Sunday 13th March

    In Ballroom B, Austin Convention Center

    Coverage slide deck

Monday 14th March 2011

  • Love, Music & APIs

    by Matthew Ogle and Dave Haynes

    In the old days it was DJs, A&R folks, labels and record store owners that were the gatekeepers to music. Today, we are seeing a new music gatekeeper emerge... the developer. Using open APIs, developers are creating new apps that change how people explore, discover, create and interact with music. But developers can't do it alone. They need data like gig listings, lyrics, recommendation tools and, of course, music! And they need it from reliable, structured and legitimate sources.

    In this presentation we'll discuss and explore what is happening right now in the thriving music developer ecosystem. We'll describe some of the novel APIs that are making this happen and what sort of building blocks are being put into place from a variety of different sources. We'll demonstrate how companies within this ecosystem are working closely together in a spirit of co-operation. Each providing their own pieces to an expanding pool of resources from which developers can play, develop and create new music apps across different mediums - web, mobile, software and hardware. We'll highlight some of the next-generation of music apps that are being created in this thriving ecosystem.

    Finally we'll take a look at how music developers are coming together at events like Music Hack Day, where participants have just 24 hours to build the next generation of music apps. Someone once said, "APIs are the sex organs of software. Data is the DNA." If this is true, then Music Hack Days are orgies.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Monday 14th March

    In Room 18ABCD, Austin Convention Center

Tuesday 15th March 2011

  • Innovating & Developing with Libraries, Archives & Museums

    by Jon Voss, Michael Edson, Deborah Boyer and Danielle Plumer

    For centuries, libraries, archives, and museums have been creating structured data, organizing information, and managing metadata in order to organize and share cultural artifacts and knowledge with the public. Unfortunately, the bulk of these systems have evolved in isolation, long before the advent of the World Wide Web. However, the convergence of developments in culture and technology are resulting in exciting new ways for individuals and developers alike to interact directly with unprecedented amounts of structured data, historical photos and archives, and more.

    Expert developers and project managers in this field will lead a discussion focused on the question: How can developers leverage open data from libraries, archives and museums being made available to the public? Panelists will review new developments and highlight examples, considering use cases with Linked Data, Flickr Commons, Smithsonian Commons, mobile apps, and scalability.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Tuesday 15th March

    In Room 10AB, Austin Convention Center

    Coverage slide deck

  • Reid Hoffman Presentation: Data as Web 3.0

    by Reid Hoffman

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Tuesday 15th March

    In Ballroom D, Austin Convention Center