March 19, 2012

Sheep Camp 2012: This June in Lexington, KY

Building upon the discussion held at the IronSheep wrap-up session at this year's AAG, we are planning to hold a workshop (or SheepCamp) in Lexington, KY on June 1-3 or 15-17. The goal is to develop and work on a research agenda focused on critical analysis of big user-generated datasets.

If you are interested in attending, please fill out this expression of interest so we can gauge possible attendance, best dates and target our small pot of travel funds.

Details are still in development but we've figured out the following thusfar:

Attendees will collaborate using datasets such as:
  • All geo-coded Twitter tweets from December 1, 2011 to the present;
  • All geo-coded Flickr photos; and
  • A measure of geo-coded material indexed by Google Maps for a range of keywords worldwide.
At this time, we are not asking people to contribute their own sets of of data although that is certainly possible.

To develop better understandings of the strengths and weaknesses of specific data sets their will be a series of pre-conference chats and brainstorming sessions with an eye towards drafting specific research questions so the camp can hit the ground running.

Events at SheepCamp
  • A series of lightning talks by participants (an informal research talk of approximately 10 minutes held at a local pub, research does not need to be finalized or formalized);
  • Skill exchanges sessions by participants on specific techniques or ideas;
  • A group challenge project;
  • Discussions on how to theorize the geoweb; and
  • Maybe even a keynote or two (or maybe we'll just visit a bourbon distillery).
We are still exploring the options on this one BUT as this is a camp, this is very much "sleeping bag on floor" territory. We think it helps set this event apart from the normal conference thing and plus it really helps with cost.

We will provide food and non-alcoholic drinks[1].

Travel (and Money for students)
Folks should plan on making their own travel arrangements and if you choose to fly we strongly encourage you to use Lexington's airport rather than Louisville or Cincinnati (which are both about 90 mins away).

We do have a limited pot of money to help with travel and we'd like to maximize it. Please do let us know if you'd like help getting here, especially if you are a student. We hope that there might be some car pooling opportunities as well for those on the East Coast.

[1] After all, we ain't stupid.

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