2021 – A Year in review

The continued running of hack weekends as online events due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation resulted in the widening of our attendee audience beyond Aberdeen. This saw attendance across the length and breadth of the UK and international attendees from the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland. These international attendees contributed to projects that had the potential to benefit the citizens of Aberdeen that our remit looks to support. This demonstrated that our message and vision is spreading beyond our traditional geographical base. However our attendance numbers for online-only events have dwindled compared to those held in physical spaces and we look forward to moving to hybrid events as soon as we can. 

We’ve supported the creation and initial deployment of two significant infrastructural projects: Open Data Scotland and Open Waste UK both of which will fill large gaps in society’s access to data about government.

We recently appointed two new trustees, Pauline Cairns and Karen Jewell who are already injecting additional enthusiasm and energy into our operations.

Events

CTC22: The Environment

Online – 20-21 Mar 2021

Event page

Key projects:

  • Bioregional Dashboards
  • Waste Wizards
  • Meet Your Next MSP

Notable Outcomes:

  • The website  https://openwastemap.uk was launched. This was underpinned by Open Streetmap data and 922 HWRCs which had been added to WIkidata. 
  • The Bioregion Dashboard team worked to make it easier for anyone to make a dashboard for their own area. 

CTC23: The Future of the City

12-13 Jun 2021

Event page

Key projects:

Notable Outcomes:

  •  The first steps taken to catalogue open data from local authorities in Scotland. Scripts written to gather data from council open data portals and GIS publishing platforms. Analysis of the status quo were performed. 
  • Prototyping of a sound map of Aberdeen.

CTC24: Open in Practice 

Online – 27/8 Nov 2021

Event page

Key projects:

Notable Outcomes:

Impact from pre-2021 Events

2021 saw the continuation of several projects that had been initiated at CTC events from previous years, a perfect demonstration of how CTC has a lasting positive impact.

Harbour Arrivals Transcriptions

During 2020 the Harbour Arrivals physical records for the period 1914 to 1920 were transcribed into a spreadsheet with a website built to make the data open for anyone to explore and use. In 2021 a data story was created focusing on the type of ships coming into the harbour from various ports, the imports to sustain the region, and the comments recorded by harbour staff.

SODU 2021

The second iteration the Scottish Open Data Unconference

2-3 Oct 2021

Event page

Key items:

  • While we had great engagement from civic society once again, there was poor showing from Government at all levels, Academia and Journalism.
  • Good news stories in Open Data
  • Attendees from overseas and across UK
  • Demonstration of Data Commons Scotland project

Notable Outcomes:

  •  A plan to take forward a number of existing open data projects including
    • Open Data Scotland
    • Wikidata representation of government in Scotland

Python Aberdeen

We held 11 Aberdeen Python User Group sessions over the last year with 10 speakers and a total of 240 attendees.

Non-event Based Achievements

Intern Project – Summer 2021

We took on our first intern this summer. Sara, a post-grad student from Edinburgh University worked with our trustee Ian, a group of volunteer transcribers, and Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives to open up data and images from the Aberdeen Register of Returned Convicts 1869 to 1939. This resulted in structured open data for 248 convicts being made available, as well as 59 images of them being licenced for reuse. You can read more on the project page.

Award nominations

For the second year running Ian received an honourable mention in the UK Wikimedian of the Year awards.

Code The City were delighted to be nominated in the Data category at the Open UK awards in November 2021. Unfortunately we were runners up to OKFN

Looking ahead

2022 will see a renewed strategy and business plan for CTC. We will return to Hybrid events as soon as we can safely do so. We will continue to support and build on projects such as Open Data Scotland. We will look at hosting one or more interns again this year. We will continue to seek to better commitment from government on the provision of open data – and get participation in events such as SODU.

Thank you

Thanks to all of our attendees, supporters, volunteers and interns who make our events so successful and impactful. We wish you a quiet and restful festive season and look forward to working with you again in the new year.

Ian, Karen, Bruce, Pauline and Andrew

Header Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

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