It seems like a very long while since I found time to write something for this blog, and you’d be forgiven for thinking I’d simply given up on it all. Blogging to a schedule is hard work and tends to suck the joy out of it, and I know a few people whose blogs have fallen down at that point, as it stops being fun and starts being a chore.
But in fact I haven’t stopped blogging, I just haven’t been posting here. I’ve been lucky enough to be kept busy with ODI Devon and Beyond The Smart City activities so all my writing capacity has been going into that. And it’s still fun, so I’m doubly fortunate.
A lot of the things I’ve been doing have been exploratory and playful; a large proportion of that has been learning my way around Minecraft * and another slice has been finally unboxing my Arduino starter kit and regaining a wobbly grip on basic electronics for some Citizen Science projects. Luckily Ohm’s Law seems not to have changed in the last two decades so I’m all good **.
It’s surprising how much of this has been relevant to open data … there are more and more services opening up their data via API, which a Raspberry Pi can cheerfully handle with a bit of simple Python; and on my list right now is the Open Weather Map which comes with a handy Python library to help you connect. Last week it was csvreader, another set of Python functions which let me trawl 2700 FOI request records to strip out just the critical text for the 2 relating to a specific topic. I’m nowhere near expert at this yet but I’m thoroughly enjoying the learning curve. The only worry is that my manager will see how much fun I’m having and wonder if I’m really working …
* in the name of research, obviously.
** translation: ‘thank god I kept my college textbooks‘