Home Forums Orkney Data Centre Local data values


This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Duncan Clarke 1 year, 4 months ago.

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    Laura Watts

    What is the value of Orkney data, and to whom? What are the different values involved (not just financial)? What business cases might there be? Are there ‘Orkney bits’ that might be valued differently because they are powered and processed locally?


    Nic Thake

    Local data aids those in a locality make decisions based on their sense of place and could justify them taking responsibility (control?) of actions in support of that locality – accreditation of local production might be one area – I submit that data collation and associated with our locality might be a worthwhile area to explore in more details – the buzz word is “Provenence” – In our case Orkney is our “terroir” – our locality.
    What follows is raw, very rough and requires a great deal of refinement –


    prov·e·nance  (prŏv′ə-nəns, -näns′)
    1. Place of origin; derivation.
    a. The history of the ownership of an object, especially when documented or authenticated. Used of artworks, antiques, and books.
    b. The records or documents authenticating such an object or the history of its ownership.

    et al –


    Pride in Orkney products >> Verified Orkney Status – 100% = Entirely – 80% = Mostly – 50% = Part
    Additional status indicators might include an environmental accreditation defied by preset parameters.


    Why shouldn’t accreditation take place in our locality when we are best placed to assess what is truly “made here”? Are we really comfortable handing that verification process over to national and supra-nation bodies – isn’t that just too 20th Century?


    Verification of Origin results from collation of inputs, location of production etc. etc. submitted according to predefined verification protocols to an encrypted local network. A digital verification can then only be granted by the LOCAL server, and is stamped with a unique algorithm derived code using data defined by the inputs supplied. The key point is that ONLY the local network can calculate the code which is necessary to define the verification. An imaginative random (local) factor might be included to achieve that. I have some ideas.
    Blockchain could be included in the process – see provenance.org for an example – but is that a scalable solution? Is it best use of computing power / generated resource?

    Data inputs required to achieve verification may include location, derivation and manufacture point of raw materials, carbon inputs (such as fuel use and transport methods) and local labour use. It’s a matter of choice how much of this data is supplied to the end user. As justification of verification a website might link to it accessed by entering the unique accreditation code supplied with the product. Other data (for example carbon inputs) might be anonymously aggregated to provide research data to inform local studies and future development.

    Open source helps support accreditation value.


    – there is scope to liaise with others and to deploy existing apps to assist. Just two examples:
    1. Blockchain exploration – provenance.org
    2. Detailed locality location – what3words.com
    (e.g. just take photo using the what3words app when you put cattle in a new field – location / time / date are all defined in that one action / take a photo of the finished jewellery held by the person who made it)

    – with other localities who might also like to take control of their own accreditation and deploy the solution

    Next steps?

    A wide ranging scoping to define project range, inputs and outcomes

    Development of a business case – IMHO the potential for deployment around the world is is scary.

    So, YES, there are “Orkney Bits” that should be valued differently because they are powered locally.

    Over to you – how about it?


    Nic Thake

    Tourism is an point of intersection between the local and the external. Orkney data offers value to both parties in the tourism industry. Collecting, collating, disseminating and acting upon data (existing and continuously generated) should be a valuable tool to aid proactive management of local heritage, accommodation etc. etc..

    I sent the following note to a colleague as this forum started –

    Imagine real time data collation of tourist movement, visitor patterns and associated vehicle movement. 

    Well, produce a visitor application which offers benefits and then reports back and use this local cloud to capture the data fed back from the app to build a reporting system which can drill down to a daily, even an hour by hour basis. Venues could then charge incrementally with higher prices at busier times, or based on carbon use, toilet demand, community benefit – or any other criteria you can imagine. A project like this has the potential to unlock that kind of concept……

    Just thinking out loud….


    Duncan Clarke

    Nic. I wanted to address your first post, #940, as I believe the topics you have brought up here are related to discussions we have had within the forum off line.

    To try and summarise as best I can, the idea is to enable trading, say for small businesses, farms etc. in Orkney, where by the creation of an online accreditation system allows these businesses to trade directly with the buyer. The accreditation system would allow the buyer to know that the product is genuine and of high quality and also allow the supplier to cut out the middlemen who currently provide certification, meaning that they are able to take a higher percentage of the profit from the sale.

    I think the thoughts above are closely aligned with your post. I think what you’ve added are some more details of how it might be taken forward as a project. Where the two separate discussions come together again is the identification that these ideas should not and do not need to be just limited to Orkney.


    Duncan Clarke

    Nic. With regards to your post on tourism, again it is aligned with other topics that have been discussed at forum meetings. At next Wednesday’s workshop we will be discussing these ideas further. Personally I can see the development of an app that tracks footfall, cruise tour coach movements etc. invaluably helpful to both small private tourist groups and sites in terms of managing where they go and when, allowing everyone to hopefully get the best experience from their visit to sites and Orkney.

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