Transport Data – Challenges and Opportunities

Transport Data – Challenges and Opportunities

Cover of report Getting Smart on Data (2016).

Cover of report Getting Smart on Data (2016).

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.

Press release from Urban Transport Group Call to action from Urban Transport Group to ‘get smart on data’ with link to full document “Getting Smart on Data” (PDF).

The report presents very helpful and interesting information.

DIY Street Activism and Tactical Urbanism Groups

DIY Street Activism and Tactical Urbanism Groups

Photo of DIY bike lane improvements by PDX Transformation (Portland Oregon) 2016.

DIY bike lane improvements by PDX Transformation (Portland Oregon) 2016.

Here are some links to independent groups making DIY transport improvements to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety, and articles about their work. Feel free to add more in the comments.

San Francisco – SFMTrA

SFMTrA website

Building DIY Bike Lanes as a Form of Activism, John Metcalfe, The Atlantic CityLab, 23 December 2016.

San Francisco Makes a Guerrilla Bike Lane Permanent, John Metcalfe, The Atlantic CityLab, 12 October 2016.

Portland, Oregon – PDX Transformation

Demanding More from the City, by PDX Transformation, The Portland Mercury, 20 July 2016.

New York – Transformation Department

An Anonymous Group Is Fixing Bike Lanes Where New York Isn’t, Sarah Goodyear, The Atlantic CityLab, 30 October 2015.

Boston – Flowers & Such: Boston Bike Lanes

A crowdfunding project raising money for flowers and safety improvements in Boston.

Making Citizen-Generated Data Work

Making Citizen-Generated Data Work

Cover of report Making Citizen Generated Data Work (2017)).

Cover of report Making Citizen Generated Data Work (2017)

Our Analyse page describes ways to crowdsource data analysis and collection. Here’s an interesting post from the Open Knowledge International Blog about a new report on the subject:

The report “Making Citizen-Generated Data Work” asks what makes citizens and others want to produce and use citizen-generated data. It was written by Danny Lämmerhirt, Shazade Jameson, and Eko Prasetyo. Report available at: https://civicus.org/thedatashift/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Making-Citizen-Generated-Data-Work_short-report_.pdf

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.

Better Reykjavik: crowdsourcing and e-democracy

Better Reykjavik: crowdsourcing and e-democracy

Screenshot of Better Reykjavik website (2017).

Screenshot of Better Reykjavik website (2017).

The Good Practice Exchange at the Wales Audit Office has published an interview with Gunnar Grímsson of the Citizens Foundation in Reykjavik about Better Reykjavik. Here’s a link to the article:

A Better Reykjavik and a stronger community: The benefits of crowdsourcing and e-democracy

The project has been quite successful: well over half the city population has participated, over 3,300 ideas were submitted by users, and 165 of these ideas have been formally accepted.

Here’s a link to the Better Reykjavik website.

Thanks to GovLab.

Smarter Crowdsourcing by Beth Simone Noveck

Smarter Crowdsourcing by Beth Simone Noveck

Screenshot of Mapaton transport crowdsourcing website (Mexico City) website (2017).

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 – Mapping data for better participation

DataPlace – Mapping data for better participation

Screenshot of Open University website (2016).

Screenshot of Open University website (2016).

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:

Towards a DataPlace: mapping data in a game to encourage participatory design in smart cities
Barker, Matthew; Wolff, Annika and van der Linden, Janet (2016). In: NordiCHI, 23-27 Oct 20106, Gothenburg, Sweden.

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.

Thanks to NYU’s GovLab for the information.

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