BarCamp Sihanoukville 2013 Recap

On December 7th and 8th, a small team from ODC jumped in a bus and traveled to Kampong Som to participate in BarCamp Sihanoukville. The conference was held at Build Bright University. The day-and-a-half-long event featured presentations from specialists of many fields and interests, including information technology, mapping and GIS, writing and journalism, UX and design, and photography. ODC presented on three different topics.

On Saturday morning Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator Penhleak Chan ran a session on “data journalism” to a room of interested youth. Data journalism was defined, its uses were explained, and many examples of successful contemporary data journalism were shown. The presentation wrapped up with a description of the DW Akademie-hosted data journalism workshop to be offered in January in partnership with ODC, Women’s Media Centre of Cambodia (WMC), the Department of Media and Communication (DMC) at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, the Club of Cambodian Journalists and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), Cambodia Office. You can view Penhleak’s slide presentation here. Later in the day, ODC mapper Kalyan Loch presented an introductory presentation on using the Google Maps Engine. His presentation was supported through the use of ODC’s open map data as well as local data points in Sihanoukville. Kalyan discussed educated the audience on importing and exporting data directly through the Maps Engine, and how maps created with the Engine are highly customizable and shareable. You can view Kalyan’s presentation here. ODC library intern Greg Bem followed up with a supplementary and impromptu presentation on Google Map Maker. Map Maker is one of the primary tools the public has access to and can use to influence data and information within the Google Maps system. Greg provided several examples using specific locations in Sihanoukville.

The first day of BarCamp concluded with an evening networking meet-up at the famous Khmer restaurant Red House. Participants gathered together in the welcoming Ochheuteal beachfront atmosphere to informally discuss issues affecting Cambodia as a whole. Following dinner, the crowd gathered on the beach for a special candlelit homage paid to the BarCamp event. On the second day of BarCamp Sihanoukville, Greg Bem conducted a short presentation on Digital Libraries in the 21st Century. The majority of the presentation focused on introducing the ideas of library functions to the audience. The presentation concluded with a very brief overview of the ODC Digital Library and a walkthrough of the online catalog. Penhleak Chan provided significant translation to ensure the English presentation was also in Khmer. You can view slides here.

While BarCamp events are typically known for their size and scope, this year’s BarCamp Sihanoukville was a quiet and mellow conference. The anticipated eagerness from participants was present, but on a smaller scale. In addition to this weekend’s conference, ODC has presented at several Cambodia BarCamps this year, including Phnom Penh, Kampong Chham, and Battambang. The next BarCamp is expected to take place in Banteay Meanchey later this month. Visit the BarCamp Cambodia for details.