Setting up the test Open311 server on Ubuntu

The initial test Open311 server was deployed to Heroku. However it was now time to install it on its own server. The reasons for this were two fold:

  • Heroku does not allow the FTP access required for the live data updates to be uploaded.
  • To do a test run of the server setup process for when it comes to roll out the production server.

Disclaimer: This blog post is as much a reminder to myself as to a helpful guide to others in getting everything setup. It is possible I’ve missed some steps out that I just performed whilst in autopilot after doing it many times. It did take several failed attempts and hours of Googling in order to find all the steps required.

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Involving the community – CodeTheCity flashback

Back in May of this year I was involved in the planning for the inaugural CodeTheCity event that was to take place in Aberdeen the following month. Initially the event was going to be billed as another hackathon-type event doing stuff with Aberdeen-based open data. However, between the five of us who were putting the event together we decided to drop the reference to the hackathon term and to make it more approachable, more attractive even, to the non-developer community. As well as involving local (and further afield) developers, we also wanted to involve the community in Aberdeen to ensure they got something out of it that they actually wanted. This led to the CodeTheCity name idea. Not only was it perfect for Aberdeen but could easily be re-run in other cities around the world under the same umbrella.

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OKFestival 2014 Reflections

During our visit to Berlin to catch up with other Code for Europe fellows we decided to hang on for a few days and attend the Open Knowledge Festival.

Oh, if you’re not familiar with the organisation behind the event, the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKFN), is a non-profit organisation which advocates openness in all forms e.g. open-access, data, and content.

In attendance were government officials, academics, journalists, developers, activists, and people from non-profits just like OKFN itself. To give you an idea of what went on, I’ve written about a few of the sessions I attended below. Continue reading