Forking and Refining Data on the Open Web

Accepted Session
Short Form
Scheduled: Thursday, June 28, 2012 from 2:30 – 3:15pm in B202/203


Github has revolutionized social coding but where does social data stand in relation?


Thanks to modern source code management tools (git, hg. etc) we have amazing code collaboration platforms on top of which to build web services that achieve incredible network effects for open source.

A similarly important but less charted territory is that of collaborative data. There are a ton of databases, new and old, that facilitate some level of open data collaboration. What is the git for data?

This talk will cover some modern technologies and their application to collaborative data including but not limited to CouchDB and Node.js on the server and Google Refine, PouchDB and Square’s Crossfilter on the client.

There are also newer lightweight protocols emerging (on and elsewhere) to help define what a ‘git for data’ looks like, or how to do things like realtime sync, transforming data, forking and pull requests.

Speaking experience

I haven't given this particular talk before but I've done lots of public speaking in the past:


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    Max Ogden



    Max Ogden is a developer, open government, geospatial and CouchDB enthusiast from Portland, OR. This year he is a fellow at Code for America, an organization dedicated to helping US cities become more transparent and efficient. He is working with the City of Boston on a project focused on helping high school students better engage in their communities.

    Max also works on privacy centered social networks, open civic data standards, web based mapping tools and neighbor facing “civic web” software.

    You can see his projects at