Registration for Digital Odyssey 2013 is OPEN!

At long last, registration for OLITA’s Digital Odyssey is open!

This year’s theme is around all things data: big data, open data, data analysis, data visualization, privacy, and the role of information professionals in this brave new world.

This year, Digital Odyssey will provide two programs. The technical stream will focus on the nitty-gritty of data visualization and distributed computing, and will feature hands-on boot camps on d3 and Hadoop.

The policy stream will focus on the social impacts of big data and the role of information professionals in helping their institutions and their patrons be engaged and enfranchised in a data-driven world. Topics will include effective data visualizations and how to design systems and programs that respect the privacy and agency of individuals.

To support this dual stream, this year we have introduced a “Bring a Friend” program to help institutions cover both streams, and to help broaden the conversation to non-OLA communities! An OLA member who signs up for the conference has the option to bring a non-OLA member at the member rate — a savings of $30! You can bring your tech folks, your administrators, or friends and acquaintances from other information industries; these are topics that are affecting a lot of people right now, and the more perspectives present at the event, the better the discussions will be!

We’ll be sending out more information about the program and the speakers in the coming days, but get your registrations in now! Spaces are limited, especially in the tech stream, so reserve yours now!


Digital Odyssey 2013:  BIG DATA, Small World

Friday June 7
Bram & Bluma Appel Salon, Toronto Reference Library
789 Yonge Street (1 street north of Bloor)
Toronto ON M4W 2G8

Members: $149
Non Members: $179

“Bring a Friend” deal – an OLA member can bring a nonmember friend at the member rate. – $298.


In an increasingly connected world, we are awash in a sea of data. Everything you say, do, buy, and like is being tracked somewhere and when it is pulled together, it can be used to paint a remarkably accurate — sometimes even predictive — picture of countries, cities, groups, and individuals. This data can be used to good purpose: to improve public health, to aid in democratization, and to improve service delivery. However, it can also have a downside, especially when it comes to privacy and the surveillance of individual citizens.
This conference will explore the double edged sword that is big data. We will explore the possible upsides of our society’s ability to process ever-greater amounts of data as well as the ways in which it makes our world a more dangerous place. We will also explore the role that information workers — be they librarians, journalists, or technologists — can play in promoting values of fairness and privacy.

In addition to a program of speakers designed to inspire thought and conversation around Big Data issues, DO2013 also plans to feature a full-day technical stream, which will consist of a data visualization boot camp and a hands-on introduction to Hadoop, the Apache Software Foundation’s distributed computing framework.  If you are interested in the technical stream, please email us at and let us know–space is limited and is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Preliminary Program

8:00am       Breakfast
9:00am       Welcome – Steve Marks
9:10am        Keynote – Razieh Niazi, CEO Kaypok
10:15am      Break
10:30am     Policy 1 – Patrick Cain, Global News – Data Visualization
10:30am     Technology 1 – Data visualization workshop: Nick Ruest, MJ Suhonos
11:15am      Policy 2 – TBA
12:00pm     Lunch
12:30pm     OLA AGM
1:30pm        Technology 2 – Art Rhyno, University of Windsor – Hadoop bootcamp
1:30pm        Policy 3 – Thunder Talks – short talks from community members discussing ongoing projects and issues around data (Angela Hamilton, William Denton, MJ Suhonos, Katie Legere)

2:30pm      Policy 4 – Tracey Lauriault, – Open data in Canada
3:15pm      Break
3:30pm      Closing Plenary – Dr. Ann Cavoukian, Privacy Commissioner of Ontario
5:00pm      Final Remarks

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Absolutely! Breakfast starts at 8:00am, and lunch is at 12:00. Both are included in the ticket price. We don’t have a final menu yet, but if you have dietary restrictions, we are happy to accommodate them! Please email Sandra Dimock: with any requests.

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