A day in the life… Hackathon with Sam Larsen

A day in the life…

Welcome to ‘a day in the life of’, a series of blogs going behind the scenes in Registers of Scotland (RoS) where we speak to staff in various departments across the organisation to find out a bit more about what they do. Here we meet Sam Larsen, a technical architect in the IT development team working on improving the quality of the data held within the Land Register.

Hi Sam! Thanks for agreeing to tell us a bit about what you and the team are working on at the moment and for inviting us along to film your ‘hackathon’. 

Q. Firstly can you introduce yourself and what the team are working on and tell us what on earth a ‘hackathon’ is?

QThe Missing Maps project sounds really interesting – you mentioned getting more involved in it, how is that going?

A. Pretty well! Since filming, some of the team and I attended an event in Edinburgh; it was just after the earthquake in Mexico so much of the focus was on mapping the affected areas to assist the humanitarian effort on the ground.

As part of the 400th anniversary of the Sasine Register, RoS staff were encouraged to take part in volunteering opportunities and Missing Maps was chosen as one of those activities, which is great.

Ideally I am hoping to be able to work with colleagues from across the organisation to help progress the idea of an event in RoS to widen the opportunity out to even more staff. Watch this space as they say…

Q. We are guessing you don’t undertake a ‘hackathon’ every day. What does a typical day hold for you and your team?

A. No we don’t! A lot of the work we do in the team is linked to the current business transformation programme at RoS, a series of connected projects enabling us to meet our ambition of being a fully digital organisation by 2020.

The work we are doing right now in Mapping links to other areas of the organisation also involved in capturing less data more efficiently. Essentially we are enhancing the intelligence of the data we create and hold in the land register by linking spatially and/or legally related data. The end result is a series of future-proofed platforms designed to hold multiple registers and services like the brand new land information service for Scotland, ScotLIS, which are designed with and for our customers.

Thanks very much for taking the time out to talk to us Sam, we had better let you get back to the day job!

If you would like to know more about the development of our digital services you can sign up to our blog alerts from the home page.

ScotLIS.ros.gov.uk officially launched on 24 October but is still in development; if you would like to be part of ongoing user testing please email ruth.baxter@ros.gov.uk to find out more.

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