Footfall

At the end of June YT attended a Safe Havens session at the Centre for Postdigital Cultures in Coventry, where invitees from across the spectrum of free research,  social activist and cultural fringe, gathered to discuss experiences of collaboration and action.

There was much talk of where existing data is stored and who pays the Amazon bill, then how better meta data annotation practices and understanding of how resources can be distributed and protected for future access.

Our blockchain research group proposed a crypto ‘data sludge‘ that is pumped between network peers and reassembled on demand for those hosting a data torrent wallet.

The slip from operational independence to corporate homogeneity has to be reviewed, not least to ensure greater transparency on how essential environmental science data is afforded and resources orchestrated.

Workers at the Van Pelt Library, Pennsylvania reacted quickly to the spectre of Trumps administration, driving climate change-motivated take-down of Environmental Protection Agency’s data. Their attempts to create a safe haven for the data were rapidly overwhelmed by requests from scientific community, the extent of fragility and huge scale of the task. Works still goes on but with sights realigned toward improving on accessibility and signposting within data silos!

The socialising of information and refinement of it’s form and accessibility, formed part of the agenda at Mazi Summer School in Volos Greece.

The Mazi group met over three days at the Brick Factory Museum building to pull together some of the vital information about our experiences operating regional pilot projects, public engagement and network development, into a handbook for toolkit users. Great effort is now being focused on how to co-ordinate the MAZI project resources, personal anecdotes and practical guidelines together in a series of booklets using Onmibook

This open source project began a decade ago as Booktype by Adam Hyde. Today the Source Fabric group included it in a suite of great collaborative tools. Adam was also key in establishment of the Floss Manuals publishing missing manuals for leading open source software projects.

The stand alone features of the MAZI toolkit hint at how communities can operate while offline, using local resources to co-ordinate and collaborate rather than reaching out to cloud based corporate solutions by default.

We heard great presentations from visiting researcher Chris Elsden currently exploring the implications of blockchain technologies in the context of international development for non-profit organisations, and from Jude Mukundane of GrassRoots Radio project about their excellent telecom based FM broadcast system which adopts the RootIO radio system..

Down at the Volos city beach we were pleased to discover these floating data mines, collecting information from a set of onboard sensors to measure temperature, humidity and motion, much as we have in prepared for installation along Deptford Creek as part of the Creeknet pilot.

Weekly Mazi meetups restart after the summer break in September with a focus on extending the senses to monitor environmental conditions and reporting on resulting data streams. If you live and work in the SE8 area please contact Make@spc.org to get more involved.

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