Conference 2016

An Open Data Future

30th January 2016

The Linnean Society of London, Burlington House,
Piccadilly, W1J 0BF


Welcome & Update: Camilla von Massenbach, Chair of Free UK Genealogy Trustees and Pat Reynolds, Executive Director Free UK Genealogy.

Open Data presentation: John Sheridan, Digital Director & Head of Legislation Services, The National Archives.

Presentation of Open Genealogical Data Video

The Benefits and Value of Opening up Data from a Community and Funding Perspective: Simon Tanner, Pro Vice Dean for Research Impact and Innovation in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, King's College London

Family History and Linked Data: Richard Light, Free UK Genealogy Trustee

Transcriber agreement: Camilla von Massenbach, Chair of Free UK Genealogy Trustees

Q and A session: Pat Reynolds, Executive Director Free UK

We will be publishing further questions from the consultation period in the FAQ section. If you have other enquiries or comments please contact us

Conference Feedback Received:

In person attendees

"I was really inspired by the work everyone is doing - and deeply impressed by the clear strategic direction being given by the trustees" John Sheridan (speaker)

"It was great, especially the cake"

"I didn't appreciate prior to attending, how relevant the programme was to me"

"I am disabled and managed the Tower Room with help from the lift, stairs a bit difficult- disabled access something to consider? However a lovely venue I am glad I came! Loved the contributions of Simon Tanner & the Data video and John Sheridan"

"Some of the content was a bit 'techy'. eg Simon Tanner referred to the use of twitter in data exchange. I am not familiar with twitter and its uses. eg: Richard Light referred to XML/API/RDF/SIC/SHIC. I am not familiar with any of these so was gradually losing understanding of his talk as it progressed. Need a microphone for the Q&A session, so everyone can hear the questions and answers."

"more easy access (too many stairs)"

"I think there was a fascinating detailed discussion. It would be useful to have a list of pros and cons, if you do go Open Data, to clarify implications to transcribers"

"Thought Richard Light's presentation went on too long to make the point"

"Sitting at the back if the hall I had to concentrate hard to hear everything being said - a little amplification would have been appreciated. Also, can each speaker ask for any questions before he completes his session"

"I see value in giving people a chance to meet but not sure any other purpose"

"Thanks for organising this !"

"Quite a lot of empty seats so it seems a pity that some people were on a waiting list (there is always a proportion who do not attend) note spelling error on programme. 3.45 -"led by" reads "lead" by. During the question session, camera was not on the right people."

"Coffee and tea was provided in the library on arrival, but there were notices all over saying that coats and bags had to be left 'in the corner' nothing saying which corner but I also did not want to leave my bags and coat. We should have been warned about this rule beforehand. Also the library was too full of people. Many slides displayed from computers onto the wall were too small for me to be able read a lot of the text . Disability access appeared to be very poor. A lot of messing about with technology at the start of each talk and most of them were much shorter than the programme said they would be."

Online attendees

"Speech only/teleconf option? download presentations in advance in case picture bad? Don't point to people in audience to introduce them - we can't see them if we are not in the room."

"Sound was dreadful, camera was fixed so could not see video or presentations. Speakers should have talked into the microphones, live stream cut out frequently and then totally after 32 minutes. Very disappointing as we didn't get to see/hear let alone join in with the discussions after the refreshment break (unless it comes back online)"

"Test the quality of any presentation/video before the day"

"I understand from a friend that, of many bad conferences attended, this was definitely the worst. Poor show. Most unprofessional" "The trustees didn't explain what it was about until the end so they had a conference full of baffled delegates". "Poor show and most unprofessional" are my words, from a volunteer who looks on askance at those paid to do a good job." -facebook