Los Angeles Web Observatory Workshop (LA WOW)

USC images

Dear Colleague,

I am writing to invite you to our upcoming Web Observatory Workshop (WOW) – a “hands-on” event in LA. These events are held periodically around the world and are intended to bring together practitioners from business, research and government to understand and develop the concepts around the Web Observatory.

As you may know, Web Observatories are repositories of knowledge gathered about the interaction of the Web and its users, which help us to understand new patterns of behaviour which emerge at Web scale. Consider that one tweet typically has little impact but 500 million tweets per day create a representation of global sentiment on a range of topics that is truly unique. If you already have a system of this kind (or are planning to build one) you may use some other term rather than “Observatory” but the principle remains the same.

Together with our members and partners (USC and Southampton University) the Web Science Trust will be sponsoring this event to consider the opportunities with Observatories, the status of Observatory deployments and interoperation and our particular focus this time will be around methods for efficiently storing, querying, analysing and visualising distributed data at scale and the resulting analytics across Observatories.

We are particularly keen to welcome experts and practitioners from industry in key areas such as:

* Big Data Analytics
* High performance Cloud computing
* Data warehousing
* Triple Store technologies
* Web Analytics/Visualisation

You are encouraged to work in focussed groups to address live Observatory challenges with other organisations and researchers and particularly to BYOD (Bring Your Own Data) if you have data sets that can be shared.

The LA Web Observatory Workshop (WOW) will be held on the 13th-14th March starting with a briefing and introduction to projects and continues the following day with group research and the presentation of results. The event will be held at USC and further joining instructions will be sent closer to the event.

Spaces are limited so please do RSVP by email to Jane Morgan (Jane.Morgan@soton.ac.uk) to indicate if you are planning to attend. For questions about the event please contact Jane Morgan or Ramine Tinati (rt506@soton.ac.uk).

We look forward to your participation.

Kind Regards,
Ian Brown for the Web Science Trust (www.webscience.org)

Web Observatory Sponsor – SWITCH CONCEPTS


After a series of projects and collaborations with Soton Web Science students and support for a number of UK events around the Web Observatory, SWITCH Concepts have become an official sponsor of the Web Observatory project.

Switch works closely with Southampton University’s Web Science Faculty to develop future leaders in technology. We hire and develop the best people in the industry to ensure that Switch remains at the sharpest possible edge of ad technology.



The Switch RTB Adserver allows premium buyers, exchanges, the Real-time Market and networks to compete simultaneously alongside any other available sources of demand. As a result, the Switch RTB Adserver works like an auction house; every demand source bids at the same time, and the gavel lands for the person who bids the most – delivering the best possible price, every time.


Web Observatory Sponsors – Edelman



Following a series of collaborations with the Southampton Doctoral Training Centre Edelman – the well-known PR experts have become one of the very first Web Observatory project sponsors

About Edelman

Edelman is the world’s largest public relations firm, with 67 offices and more than 4,800 employees worldwide, as well as affiliates in more than 30 cities. Edelman owns specialty firms

  • Edelman Berland (research)
  • Blue (advertising)
  • BioScience Communications (medical communications)
  • Edelman Significa (Brazil),
  • and Pegasus (China).

Boston WOW (Web Observatory Workshop) Oct 9th 2013

Boston Web Observatory Workshop (WOW) – 2013
Location: MIT, Cambridge, MA (room tbc)

Date: 9th October 2013

Time: 09:30 – 17:30

The Boston Web Observatory Workshop (WOW) builds upon the success of the 1st international workshop on ‘Building Web Observatories’ held at Web Science 2013 in Paris, France, the 1st International Web Observatory Workshop at the World Wide Web Conference in Rio, Brazil, and the recent technical Web Observatory Workshop held at Stanford University in August 2013. The Boston WOW aims to draw together researchers and students from across the academic fields and WSTNet labs in order to discuss the current progress of the worldwide efforts in building and supporting the Web Observatory vision. Held at the MIT, this promises to be a great setting to drive forward the Web Observatory project and help foster a collaborative working environment for attendees.

The workshop is inviting participants to share and present their current research that relates to Web Observatory topics such as infrastructure and technical design, data aggregation, dataset harmonisation, data analytics, visualisations and representation, and also legality and policy decisions. The workshop will provide an environment for those that wish to engage and have a hands-on session with data and tools, and invites participants to bring along datasets and analytical tools to share and discuss with other participants. The workshop will be suitable for both those interested in operations and technologies, and sessions will be supported by researchers and industry partners already involved in the Web Observatory.

The Boston WOW will be a full-day event and aims to cater for a wide variety of interests, from hands-on sessions to small focus groups. The informal unconference approach encourages participants to freely participate in sessions of interest to them, with an aim of establishing and agreeing on a number of collaborative projects within and between WSTNet labs and other participants.


In short, the goals of the workshop are:

  • To identify the current cutting edge research related to the Web Observatory project from WSTNet labs and other participants
  • To discuss the opportunities and challenges of the Web Observatory for society and government (including crisis-management, health, education)
  • To identify the research challenges of secure, distributed, interoperable, and efficient infrastructures for Web Observatories
  • To establish short-term and long-term collaborative projects between participants (not necessarily technical)
  • To identify and share the latest technologies, tools and techniques available for harvesting, storing and analysing datasets
  • To facilitate a hands-on session for participants interested in working with available Web Observatory data. The workshop encourages participants to bring along and share their datasets (closed and open) and tools for Web Observatory purposes
  • To set deliverables and actions for the next Web Observatory technical meeting


Call for Presentations, Talks, Datasets, and Tools

Participants are invited to provide the following:

  • Short 10-20 minute presentations or tutorials regarding their current work related to Web Observatories infrastructure, technologies, analytics, visualisations, policy design, governance models, legal issues
  • Datasets for the hands-on sessions Open or closed datasets of a variety of topics and formats – the more the better
  • Tools, analytical techniques, and visualisation approaches
  • Prototype systems, visualisation frameworks and current Big Data approaches for Web scale analytics


Participants that wish to take part in Boston WOW should email their interests to the contact email address below, indicating whether they are able to present and/or provide resources (data, tools, tutorials).

Key Dates, Registration and Important Information
Participants wishing to present, submit data, or run a small discussion group (either technical or non-technical) are required to submit a short abstract (100-200 words) by 27th September 2013.

For those wishing to attend the workshop, please RSVP by the 27th September to the contacts given below. Places are limited and are offered on a first come, first served basis.

Please also note, the workshop is free to attend, but travel costs cannot be covered.

Contact Details

For more information, questions or comments, please contact:
Dani O’shea (event coordinator) – dpos2v12@soton.ac.uk
Ramine Tinati (workshop organiser) – rt506@ecs.soton.ac.uk