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Data to people: London data store, freeing data for social purposes like education

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As mentioned in previous posts like the one on "opening raw data", concept that was put forward by Tim Berners Lee in his Ted Talk: "The Year the Data went Worldwide"[2010] and made real by institutions like Google with their Google Public Data Explorer ; there are public institutions like the Greater London Authority [GLA] that have started the quest of freeing their data to democratize the utilization of it. They indicate that their intention is not only to make data accessible to the public sector but to common citizens, or "netizens" [Hauben, "Netizens: on the history and impact of Usenet and the Internet" 1997], which entail those networked online citizens that are avid to make changes on their communities over the web. This is a frequent concept in magazines like "The Economist", when they refer to the empowerment of oppressed communities through the social networking. Nonetheless, empowerment comes to anyone when looking to freeing data to the people.

The London Data Store is an interesting platform that combines the benefits of crowdsourcing or grouping social intelligence to understand huge social problems, with a friendly visual interface that allows the users to understand and negotiate thesis that can raise from diverse data connection. It also provides the grounding to "make questions to the data" in different ways, and to put it forward to resolve social issues. One example of this is the mapping of the "under representation of certain groups in higher education", which combines statistical data with geographical mapping coming from a GIS platform.  

If we do it, we want others to do it too, says the GLA: "GLA is committed to influencing and cajoling other public sector organisations into releasing their data here too". This is a first step to a greater democratization of social innovation.

Etiquetas:   Educación   ·   Base de Datos

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Constanza Miranda, Diseño Thanks D.Aldoney, the actual Viz [name given by Computer Scientists] tool is an "on the cloud" platform that nurtures itself through the raw data provided by the government. Maybe you should check also Many Eyes from IBM.



daniela aldoney, great article... i am just learning about "data visualization" and I think it is a great way to share a PhD student I am always looking for new ways to present my findings. Having tools like the ones presented in the article make it easier to share and discuss data... great tool for anyone who is interested and making the data friendlier (students, governments, agencies...)

Constanza Miranda, Diseño You're right Pablo Fernández. Is Chile a country were "netizens" are really treated as empowered individuals? It seems that media empowers them, TV and other sources are the ones that give relevance to their interventions. Nonetheless, government organizations should consider that average individuals, as Berners-Lee and Google are indicating,can generate major impact when faced to raw data. Maybe we should consider more using crowdsourcing platforms and teaching and informing how to use them correctly. The case of Iceland and their constitutional reform through crowdsourcing is impressive, but is also an isolated exemplar.

Pablo Fernandez, Great example. I think the major challenge of this kind of initiatives is to present the data in a friendly way. Otherwise it is useful only to researchers and journalist, who are willing to spend time crunching numbers; even when that is a great contribution, the impact is more limited.
One good example in South America is vota inteligente. However, they still haven't been able to reach a massive audience.
One mistake from the governments (generally speaking) is that they have not published information that is relevant to their citizens. For example, in Chile there is no map with the areas that have 3G internet service. Again, the challenge is to identify those topics that are relevant to the average citizen.

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