Southampton Open Data Blog

Launch of new University events calendar

May 29, 2012
by Christopher Gutteridge

The new University events calendar is now live and accessible via the current link

The calendar was developed in conjunction with Electronics and Computer Sciences using Open Data as its foundation. It is automatically populated with events via RSS feeds from existing University websites, so minimal maintenance is required. Where a website does not have an RSS feed, staff can upload events manually via a SharePoint form This page also contains  a list of the feeds currently used.

For queries of further information please email

Under the hood…

The data is aggregated once per hour into RDF from an assortment of RSS feeds, and a few stray websites, and a Sharepoint Calendar, then presented as a pretty javascript driven website.

The data is also uploaded every hour to the open data service, get the data.

The source code is available from github, and was paid for by the University Communications department, and mostly built by Colin Williams with some support from me.

Joining it up

The website uses the open data service data to let you filter by campus (it links building number to campus number to campus name), and filter by divisions of the university, get the name of buildings from their number and the homepages of the schools and faculties.

Thing is… the open data about university division homepages has not been maintained since we created the list a year ago. It was still mostly correct but some had moved and a many divisions had been created, or merged and so forth.

The exciting thing is that there’s now value to the comms dept. to maintain this information as it provides them value. This may sound minor, but it means that there’s an incentive to the “right people” to maintain this data, and that’s always been part of the model we’ve been striving for!

There’s still a lot of missing features; rss, ical etc. We’re working on that.