Our next Nerd Nite theme is Explore!. Our friends at Mr Wow’s Emporium will be hosting us again with cold beers, amazing cocktails and the hot Cuban food truck.

Nerd Nite – Explore!
Wednesday, 4 December
at Mr Wow’s Emporium
97b Smith Street, Fitzroy
Doors 7pm/$5

Back to the lectures at hand.

*Presentation 1
What happens when we share data instead of locking it away?

by Maia Sauren

Description: What happens when we share data instead of locking it away? It becomes more valuable, that’s what. Sometimes, if the people looking at it come from a different background to those who gathered it, it becomes something completely unexpected. GovHack and HealthHack were two events this year that let strangers loose on information, just to see what would happen.

Bio: Maia is an ever-curious geek. When she’s not working as a software consultant or organising open source hack nights, she makes sourdough bread. With a biomedical engineering PhD in Why Mobile Phones Don’t Give You Cancer, and a pile of science communication and analyst jobs behind her, she finds it difficult to stop ranting. About anything. Usually science. Also politics. And gender. And food, definitely food. Sometimes she rants at @sauramaia.

*Presentation 2
Maya hieroglyphs! How to interdisciplinary exploit a writing system
by Sven Gronemeyer

Description: The breakthrough to decipher Maya hieroglyphic writing was only achieved some 60 years ago. Today we have reached a considerable understanding of the mechanisms and the underlying language, enabling us to dive into the history and culture of an ancient civilisation. This presentation shows how we know what we know about Maya hieroglyphs, in what fields we can apply our knowledge, and what we can still explore to learn more in future research.

Bio: Sven Gronemeyer, M.A. from the University of Bonn (Germany) in Pre-Columbian Studies. Currently a Ph.D. candidate at La Trobe University, investigating the orthographic mechanisms of Maya writing. Collaborator in the Tamarindito Archaeological Project (Guatemala) conducted by Vanderbilt University (USA).

*Presentation 3
OpenStreetMap – and you can too!
by Steve Bennett

Description: OpenStreetMap is like Wikipedia for maps – a huge global geographic database of roads, walking tracks, pubs, rivers and anything else useful, created by a community of tens of thousands of ordinary people. Unlike Google Maps, anyone can download the data directly, to make interesting maps, apps, games or mashups. Steve will show you how it works, what you can do with it – and best of all, how you can start contributing now!