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DataMash: thank you!

#DataMash was our data and geography-themed un/conference event held at Ordnance Survey’s headquarters in Southampton. We had attendees from across Defra group who work in these areas, alongside representatives from some of our data suppliers, data users and IT providers – they’re all also part of our community, after all. We were keen that this event had location-specific involvement and we were delighted that Southampton University were represented both with a stand and on our keynote panel.

Day 1 was a conference with an agenda and a plan in advance (see DataMash Day 1 session grid here). We had a variety of sessions looking at the key themes of: the Framework we need around data; Innovating and Enabling; and you shared data, so what?

We then had a panel session chaired by Claire Edwards from Natural England with:

  • Ordnance Survey Chief Executive Nigel Clifford
  • University of Southampton Dean of Faculty of Natural Sciences and Environment Rachel Mills
  • Chied Executive Officer of the Open Data Institute Jeni Tennison
  • Defra Permanent Secretary Clare Moriarty
This photo was taken by a drone. Exciting!

More on this (including a video) in an upcoming blog post (you can also subscribe to our newsletter at:

This was followed by an excellent social event at a the Dancing Man Brewery in Southampton. Many of the day’s discussions continued well into the night, and it was clear that ideas were formulating and coming together.

Day 2 was an unconference, hosted by Daniel Hallam from the Marine Management Organisation and Andrew Newman from Defra’s Data Transformation Programme team. As ever, the variety of topics pitched was huge (session grid and notes from sessions are here).

A key theme emerging from the discussions centred around data ethics – something that many people consider a priority, but one that is often overlooked. It might be summarised as: just because we (legally) can share, should we? Other topics tied into our Data Principles: for example; how we build and maintain communities; providing some high-level guidance around data procurement and data sharing; and the importance of place and localism in making use of data.

The event was amazing and exhausting there really are too many people to thank  individually in this newsletter so we will focus on saying thank  you to

  • Gill, Jess and Hannah and the rest of the OS organising team,
  • Stefan, David, Mattie and Tara for the filming and photography
  • All of the event sponsors
  • All of those who spent time exhibiting
  • All of those who presented or pitched
  • All of you who attended.

This is a brief taster of what it was like.

There are some initial outputs from Drawnalism here and here.

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