Digital Odyssey 2013

Digital Odyssey 2013:  BIG DATA, Small World

Friday June 7
Bram & Bluma Appel Salon, Toronto Reference Library
789 Yonge Street (1 street north of Bloor)
Toronto ON M4W 2G8

Members: $149
Non Members: $179

“Bring a Friend” deal – an OLA member can bring a nonmember friend at the member rate. – $298. 

In an increasingly connected world, we are awash in a sea of data. Everything you say, do, buy, and like is being tracked somewhere and when it is pulled together, it can be used to paint a remarkably accurate — sometimes even predictive — picture of countries, cities, groups, and individuals. This data can be used to good purpose: to improve public health, to aid in democratization, and to improve service delivery. However, it can also have a downside, especially when it comes to privacy and the surveillance of individual citizens.

This conference will explore the double edged sword that is big data. We will explore the possible upsides of our society’s ability to process ever-greater amounts of data as well as the ways in which it makes our world a more dangerous place. We will also explore the role that information workers — be they librarians, journalists, or technologists — can play in promoting values of fairness and privacy.

In addition to a program of speakers designed to inspire thought and conversation around Big Data issues, DO2013 also plans to feature a full-day technical stream, which will consist of an introduction and hands-on tutorial to Hadoop, the Apache Software Foundation’s distributed computing framework.  If you are interested in the technical stream, please email us at and let us know–space is limited and is on a first-come, first-serve basis.


Preliminary Program

8:00am      Breakfast
9:00am      Welcome        Steve Marks        
9:10am      Keynote        Razieh Niazi, CEO Kaypok
10:15am    Break
10:30am    Session 1 (policy stream) Patrick Cain, Global News – Data Visualization
10:30am    Session 1 (technology stream) Data visualization workshop: Nick Ruest, MJ Suhonos
11:15am    Session 2 (policy stream) Alan Harnum, Toronto Public Library – “The changing face of TPL’s users”
12:00pm    Lunch
12:30pm    OLA AGM
1:30pm      Session 2 (technology stream) Hadoop bootcamp
1:30pm      Thunder Talks (policy stream) – Angela Hamilton (Analyzing twitter data for CARL libraries), William Denton (On Dentographs), MJ Suhonos (Big Data in Libraries: What it is, what it isn’t, what it can be), Katie Legere (Sonification of Data)
2:30pm      Session 4 (policy stream) Tracey Lauriault, – Open data in the Canadian context        
3:15pm      Break
3:30pm      Closing Plenary        Michelle Chibba, Director of Policy, Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.
5:00pm      Final Remarks