Bridging the Gap Between Data & Audiences (part 3): Optimising Open Cultural Events Data

The previous post described different methods for organising related data and creating a website to make the open data accessible to others.

Image Turner Contemporary

Turner Contemporary

The potential benefits of standardising cultural event data and making it available online for anyone to access and implement are immense. First, local audiences become aware of the cultural events that are happening nearby, which can encourage them to support local events as well as invite friends and family to visit them. Second, a more global audience can find events that they might not have heard about without someone publicly sharing the event information. For instance, organisations can implement cultural event open data into apps, making it easy for travellers abroad to find cultural events in any country they visit.

An example of an app that allows users to find cultural events is Culture Finder App. With this app, users can:

  • Explore the City through its museum collections, cultural events and venues with this free app
  • Can follow ready made tours or plan your own
  • Can add locations of places, signs indicating where notable people lived or spent time, etc.

Another app is Time Razor App. Its three main features are:

  • smartEVENTS – Shows what’s happening around you
  • travelTIME – Takes into account traffic and alerts you when you need to leave to get to an event
  • easySHARE – Publish events to Facebook, email, SMS, or Twitter

This app also can be integrated with your smartphone’s calendar, making it easy to receive reminders of upcoming events.

An app that focuses on all events happening in one location is Plymouth Artory App. This is being billed as the ‘Ultimate guide to Plymouth’s art and culture’. In addition to featuring a calendar of events, this app offers visitors incentives for leaving feedback about what they thought about the show, the exhibition, the film or the attraction. Feedback can be left as ‘moods’; users can submit their feelings and emotions about the art and culture they’ve just viewed.

These are just a few ideas about how open cultural event data can be implemented in an engaging and effective way. The more data available, the more valuable an app can be. It all starts with organisations’ collaborative efforts to standardise event data and make it available online.  Do you know of any interesting cultural events apps or have an idea of your own?  Please share your ideas in the comments!

Read the previous post: Bridging the Gap Between Data & Audiences (part 1): Background for Creating an Open Data Source for Kent Cultural Events

Read the previous post: Bridging the Gap Between Data & Audiences (part 2): Building an Open Source Website

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Cultural Data Research in Europe: Data Pools for Offering Cultural Events on Websites

Culture Kent is not alone in its aims to centralise cultural events data. Other European countries also have conducted research or developed applications that enable a global audience to access their cultural data and events. Providing audiences with access to data covering cultural events offered by a many organisations requires a data pool, or a centralised repository of information.

Image Turner Contemporary

Turner Contemporary (photo: Benjamin Beker)

In Germany, CultureBase is a online database listing all cultural events, addresses and cultural active persons in Germany. Enabling its users to choose between German and English. this system can reach a broader audience, which ultimately can increase the number of tourists that can access Germany’s cultural information.

In contrast Kultur-online is only written in German. Information on this site might also be beneficial to travellers, but as it covers cultural events in German-speaking countries such as Austria, Switzerland and Southern Germany, perhaps offering information only in German will appeal to a specific audience.

In the area around France and Germany, Info-Culture.com is available in French or German and provides several search options (type, location, category, date) for searching cultural events in the region around Strasbourg and Lorraine in France and Badem-Württemberg, Germany .

Italy also has an online community for major art events in the main Italian Cities. Exibart Art Community, only offered in Italian. was also designed to share ideas and information on art and culture among researchers, students, artists, and the general public.

For cultural events across Europe, EuroNews Agenda has many language options and offers a calendar of major art exhibitions and other cultural events in different countries. Information can be accessed by country or region, making it easy for the user to find events that interest them.

Although these are just a few examples of how cultural events data pools are used in Europe, it is evident that these data and websites are important for many countries in informing people around the world about their events. The potential to gain new visitors and audiences is high, but a lot of time and effort is needed to gather this data. It is encouraging that Culture Kent is not alone in recognising the importance of sharing cultural data with a global audience.

Image Turner Contemporary

Turner Contemporary (photo: Nick Gutteridge)