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) –
Ramine Tinati (workshop organiser) –