Getting Smart on Data: Challenges and Opportunities for Transport Authorities from Emerging Data Sources was produced by the Urban Transport Group and presents results of an emerging data catapult meeting held in May 2016. The Urban Transport Group is the UK’s network of city region transport authorities.
The report demonstrates that citizen-generated data projects are rarely the work of individual citizens. Instead, they often depend on partnerships to thrive and are supported by civil society organisations, community-based organisations, governments, or business. These partners play a necessary role to provide resources, support, and knowledge to citizens. In return, they can harness data created by citizens to support their own mission. Thus, citizens and their partners often gain mutual benefits from citizen-generated data.
Mapaton is one of the crowdsourcing apps cited by Noveck in her article.
Beth Simone Noveck writes in The Guardian about the need for more and better crowdsourcing. Her recommendations include focusing on the knowledge building aspects of crowdsourcing – not just using crowdsourcing as a communications tool, developing a range of crowdsourcing practices that speak to people’s particular knowledge, and ensuring that crowdsourcing is open to all. Read the whole article Could crowdsourcing expertise be the future of government? Noveck directs the Governance Lab (GovLab) at New York University, a great source of information on crowdsourcing and public participation.
DataPlace is a fascinating idea, it allows users to place sensors on a map to collect (visualise) data. It’s designed to help regular people understand and use open data, which can then help them develop ideas for improving their surroundings. Here’s the paper title and abstract:
The smart city has been envisioned as a place where citizens can participate in city decision making and in the design of city services. As a key part of this vision, pervasive digital technology and open data legislation are being framed as vehicles for citizens to access rich data about their city. It has become apparent though, that simply providing access to these resources does not automatically lead to the development of data-driven applications. If we are going to engage more of the citizenry in smart city design and raise productivity, we are going to need to make the data itself more accessible, engaging and intelligible for non-experts. This ongoing study is exploring one method for doing so. As part of the MK:Smart City project team, we are developing a tangible data look-up interface that acts as an alternative to the conventional DataBase. This interface, or DataPlace as we are calling it, takes the form of a map, which the user places sensors on to physically capture real-time data. This is a simulation of the physical act of capturing data in the real world. We discuss the design of the DataPlace prototype under development and the planned user trials to test out our hypothesis; that a DataPlace can make handling data more accessible, intelligible and engaging for non-experts than conventional interface types.