It’s over! It was a great conference and congratulations to John Joergensen and Núria Casellas for putting together a great collection of presentations for Track 5, Data Organization and Legal Informatics.
Clay Shirky delivered a great opening plenary this morning talking about crowdsourcing, openness and “cognitive surplus.” Time to stop watching TV and start working on shaping the web, at least that’s one conclusion to draw (Wikipedia=100 million hours of work; U.S. TV viewing=200 billion hours per year).
Then it was Jerry Goldman and Matt Gruhn talking about the multimedia Oyez Project and some fascinating work on machine readable access to U.S. Supreme Court information. Broccoli was high on the word cloud for this session.
Had a chance to take a short walk around Ithaca at lunch and check out more of the gorge.
After lunch Track 5 started to bunch up a bit with two half hour programs; although some seemed like hour programs compressed into that half hour. Yoshiharu Matsuura and Amy Huey-Ling Shee talked about translation issues between Japan, Taiwan, Korea and China. Interesting to see the different interpretations and English translations of the same and similar ideograms.
In the second half hour Michael Curtotti shared his research on visualizing the law. I think visualization of data is an area that will become increasingly important especially as we start negotiating our way through linked data on the semantic web.
The next double whammy began with a write in presentation with Susan Newell Hart comparing Lexis and Westlaw and their development of the digest and citator components of their platforms. Very interesting to hear about Lexis using machine algorithms to catch up with the legacy of human created digests created by Westlaw.
The second half of this hour featured Pompeau Casanovas presenting his research on crowdsourcing “relational law” and I was really disappointed that we didn’t have time to hear more about this very interesting area of research. He raised some great questions: how do you define knowledge when you can connect everything together; what is law today?; what is a legal document?
The final pair of presentations began with Lee Hollaar and his statutory “time machine.” This was an interesting report on an older project and I would have liked to have had an opportunity to see this in action.
Søren Nielsen and Rasmus Lohals shared their experience with optimizing Danish statutory law so that they had better exposure in general search engines on the web. Loved the “extreme search” option that they provided on their own site.
Thanks for the hospitality Cornell Law School and Itahca. Enjoyed the conference!
P.S. Gotta get me a real camera …