Labs newsletter: 20 February, 2014

The past few weeks have seen major improvements to the Labs website, another Open Data Maker Night in London, updates to the TimeMapper project, and more.

Labs Hangout: today

The next Labs online hangout is taking place today in just a few hours—now’s your chance to sign up on the hangout’s Etherpad!

Labs hangouts are informal online gatherings held on Google Hangout at which Labs members and friends get together to discuss their work and to set the agenda for Labs activities.

Today’s hangout will take place at 1700 - 1800 GMT. Check the hangout pad for more details, and watch the pad for notes from the meeting.

Crowdcrafting at Citizen Cyberscience Summit 2014

In today’s other news, Labs’s Daniel Lombraña González is presenting Crowdcrafting at the Citizen Cyberscience Summit 2014. You can read more about his presentation here.

Crowdcrafting is an open-source citizen science platform that “empowers citizens to become active players in scientific projects by donating their time in order to solve micro-task problems”. Crowdcrafting has been used by institutions including CERN, the United Nations, and the National Institute of Space Research of Brazil.

Labs site updates

Labs has been discussing improving the website for some time now, and the past weeks have seen many of those proposed improvements being put into action.

One of the biggest changes is a new projects page. Besides having a beautiful new layout, the new projects page implements filtering by tags, language, and more.

The site now also features a reciprocal linking of users and projects. The projects page now shows projects’ maintainers (n.b. plural!), and users pages now show which projects users contribute to (e.g. Andy Lulham’s page highlights his Data Pipes contributions).

TimeMapper improvements

TimeMapper is a Labs project allowing you to create elegant timelines with inline maps from Google Spreadsheets in a matter of seconds.

A number of improvements have been made to TimeMapper:

Open Data Maker Night February

Two weeks ago today, the ninth Open Data Maker Night London was hosted by Andy Lulham. This edition was a mapping special, featuring OpenStreetMap contributor Harry Wood.

Open Data Maker Nights are informal, action-oriented get-togethers where things get made with open data. Visit the Labs website for more information on them, including info on how to host your own.

DataPackage + Bubbles

On last week’s newsletter, you heard about Štefan Urbánek’s abstract data processing framework Bubbles. Štefan just notified the OKFN Labs list that he has created a demo of Bubbles using Data Packages, Labs’s simple standard for data publication.

“The example is artificial”, Štefan says, but it highlights the power of the Bubbles framework and the potential of the Data Package format.

Get involved

We’re always looking for new contributions at the Labs. Read about how you can join, and see the Ideas Page to get in on the ground floor of a Labs project—or just join the Labs mailing list to participate by offering feedback.