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Tapio Nurminen

Tapio Juhani Nurminen
Born May 5, 1972, Joutsa.

Master of Arts (General History), University of Helsinki, 2001
Other studies incl. Helsinki School of Economics

Seurasaari Open-Air Museum, 1995–1999
Faculty of Arts, University of Helsinki, 2000–2003
Communications Department, University of Helsinki, 2003–2004
Managing Director, Flo Apps Ltd 2005-

Publications, awards and special achievements
Joutsan veteraanimatrikkeli (’Register of Joutsa war veterans’), 2006
Article on Teloitettu totuus (’Executed truth’, a monograph on the Continuation War), 2008
Foreword to ”Sotilaat. Taistelemisesta, tappamisesta ja kuolemisesta” (‘Soldiers. Fighting, killing and dying’), 2011
Article on Kirjeitä sodasta (‘Letters about war’), 2015
Main Prize, Apps For Democracy Finland, Nomen Est Omen – application, 2009
Special mention, Apps For Development, World Bank, World Bank Widget-app, 2011
Silver Medal, Open Data Challenge, for Nomen Est Omen–app, 2011

Photo: Sandra Lundgren
Written by Tapio Nurminen, Kaija Hartikainen (ed.)

A part-time historian

Ten years ago, Tapio Nurminen­ began work on his doctoral dissertation about the war experiences of men from Eastern Tavastia. But he could not find much time to write while working full time. He has, however, managed to publish about half a dozen articles related to his research topic.

Tapio was quite flattered when Ville Kivimäki used one of Tapio’s articles as a source for his Finlandia prize-winning book Murtuneet mielet (‘Broken Minds’).

– To me, this is the greatest recognition that a part-time historian can receive. Even if there isn’t more time to spend actively researching, I feel that this proved to myself and others that I take my studies seriously and that I am a worthy researcher.

Bringing Finland’s cultural heritage to the net

Over the last ten years, Tapio has been involved in many online services in the field of history. These include the University of Helsinki’s Historical Register, the National Biography of Finland online, the Swedish Literature Society’s Writings of Zacharias Topelius, the National Library’s online exhibition, The Literary Middle Ages, and the Ancient National Poems of Finland database.

– It’s pleasing that in producing these works I have been able to take advantage of my expertise in the humanities and information technology. These online series have preserved a significant part of Finland’s cultural heritage and it has been an honour to be involved in transferring these pieces of heritage into a new format. For example, I did quite a lot of manual coding for the Ancient Poems project because I became interested in the subject.

Visualising Information

In addition to online cultural projects, Nurminen’s company, FloApps Ltd, offers tools to organisations for website building and data visualisation.

– In 2009, I became inspired by the possibilities of open data. This led me to enter the Apps for Finland competition, where we won first prize for our Nome Est Omen app, which utilises public records on surnames. For example, it allows users to measure the exclusivity of a surname.

– The win for Nome Est Omen and the accessibility of various databanks encouraged my company to produce different types of data visualisation. In 2011 we entered the World Bank’s Apps for Development Competition; although we didn’t win, we were one of the finalists, and we got to receive our award in Washington D.C. This is one of greatest moments that entrepreneurship has given me, says Tapio.

At the World Bank’s Apps for Development Competition, the awards were presented by World Bank Group President Robert Zoellick. Credit: World Bank / Neil Fantom.

Over the years, Flo Apps has made data visualisations of Finnish personal identity numbers, Finnish development assistance, graduates of polytechnic schools and universities, and the status of the flu in Finland.

– As an entrepreneur, it is great to be able to work with different kinds of people and topics. This broadens your views and helps you see the world from different angles.

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