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August 12, 2009

A Taste of #be2camp

The somewhat oppressive heat at be2camp has stifled my enthusiasm for liveblogging (I never thought I'd miss Le Web's cold...), so to round out the day, here's a very brief video flavour of the event:

be2camp Brum vignette from Adam Tinworth on Vimeo.

A brief flavour of be2camp Brum

#be2camp - Building Value on Open Mapping

Talking Open Street Map

I've just deleted my notes from this session, because just typing up what was said won't actually be very useful.

Here's what to do. Got to http://www.blurtonvision.co.uk and see how different data layers can be placed over the map to build a set of information about what the community is doing.

Then look at Walking Papers and see how that same mapping can be useful to, and developed by, walkers.

Cool, isn't it?

It's all built on Open Street Map, which is, if you like, the Wikipedia of mapping.

#be2camp : Internal Use of Social Media by Lend Lease

Dave Glennon - collaboration manager at Lend Lease

  • Web 2.0 is a key part of land Lease's ICT strategy, from knowledge management to recruitment.
  • Martini approach to ICT - any time, any place, any where...
  • Aim is to be a connected information organisation and knowledge workers

Konnections is their knowledge platform. The Knowledge Incubator was set up, but not advertised internally. A few people found it, liked it and its use grew internally through word of mouth and evangelism. 

The blogs have been interesting. Every 2/3 weeks most senior people have put up blog posts (they're internal blogs, as far as I can make out). There are also individual pages for each person in the company. 

Forums were harder to get going, as people were reluctant to get involved, but use has grown. 

Wiki has been a useful tool for breaking down language barriers in a global company, and invaluable for dealing with the rise of acronyms...

Is it genuinely the senior people blogging? Yes. They are passed through the communication team, but are actually written through management.

Buy in: full and frank discussions or bland? Started bland, but getting more active and more opinions being expressed. 

#be2camp : Construction Talk Podcasts

Victor Tsemo from the West Midlands Centre for Constructing Excellence podcasts is up next, talking about, well, podcasts. (They're available on iTunes)

Not a huge amount here that's specific to the built environment. It's more of a set of general podcasting tips:

  • plan
  • keep it short (15 to 25 mins)
  • Have a major name interview subject
  • Not too frequent (once or twice a month)
  • The chair is very important, because she must manage the guests
Some discussion on Twitter about Victor's suggestion that podcasting is expensive. Many people's experience is absolutely counter to that - you can produce good results cheaply and simply. But here's his recipe for doing it:

Construction Talk Podcast: How We Do (overview) from victor on Vimeo.

#be2camp : Bscape - Birmingham in Second Life

David from Daden - a virtual worlds consultancy.

They will build bespoke worlds for you, if you want. But, for exploratory projects, you get the most bang for your buck in Second Life.

Birmingham Island in Second Life.

Bscape city didn't want to buy their own island - so we gave them some space in our own island. Other people started making video of it and putting it up on London.

Bscape from DadenMedia on Vimeo.

Bscape on Birmingham Island in SL

Worked with the Digital Birmingham and the new Library team, and there was enough space to build the new library on the island.

Continue reading #be2camp : Bscape - Birmingham in Second Life.

#be2camp : Campers

be2campers

#be2camp : Visualising Cities Digitally

Next up: Dave Harte  - Digital Birmingham

He's going to talk about 3D visualisations of developments. (Sure I was writing about this in EG back in 2004)

Digital Britain's eim is to be a (the?) leading digital city by 2010? 

How to use visualisation as a consultation tool. Can use engage the public using digital tools to create a more open city?

Every project has a "digital" bit. Something like public arts schemes, sums in developments set aside for digital realm improvements...

His role is to spot opportunities in new development projects that could help creative and digital business in the area. 

Existing initiatives:

  • Big City Plan / Talk
  • E-petitions
  • Social media in constituancies
  • NI4 driving initiatives

These are the sorts of ideas he'd like to talk about:

  • 3D models
  • Maps
  • Games
  • Virtual worlds

Crytek 3D game engine used for visualisation:


Some game engines don't work as visualisation tools - they're based around inappropriate (tropical!) settings. But others can render to a high degree of accuracy, but not to the detail that some of the measurements are made.

Not been used in planning consultation yet, but the city is exploring use of digital recreations.

Key challenges are identifying the visualisation and engagement innovators and being genuinely open, by sharing digital asset data. 

Continue reading #be2camp : Visualising Cities Digitally.

#be2camp : Save Your Energy video

We've just ben shown this video at be2camp:



Couldn't really see or hear it, so I've embedded it here for future reference.

#be2camp: A Digbeth Urban Oasis

Fazeley Studios, Digbeth
It's been a long time since I was blown away by entering a building, but our arrival at Fazeley Studios in Digbeth caught me on the hop. We wandered through decaying industrial street, with the first signs of the sort of art and creative business that lead the regeneration charge into such areas, and passed through an unprepossessing door. And the view above is what greeted us.

One of the attendees at the event described it as an "an oasis in the desert". I'd go with that. 

#be2camp Brum Begins

be2camp Brum
I'm up in Birmingham for be2camp, a bar camp style event for the built environment industry.

Live blogging will commence soon...

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