Tag Archives: data visualization

Data and the City workshop, Session 4 videos

We’re back again with another set of papers from The Programmable City’s Data and the City workshop. These videos formed a wonderfuld opening session for the second day of the event.

Data Models and the City

Service Oriented Design and Polyglot Binding for Efficient Sharing and Analysing of Data in Cities

Pouria Amirian, Big Data Project Manager and Data Science Research Associate, University of Oxford

Nowadays successful and efficient management of a city depends on how data are collected, shared and transferred within and between various organizations in the city and how data analytics are used for extracting actionable insights for decision making. Since each organization use different platforms, operating systems and software for the above mentioned tasks, data sharing mechanisms should be provided as platform independent services. This platform independent services can then utilized by various users for different purposes. For example for research purpose of universities, for business purposes of industry and commercial companies, for improving the existing services by city council and related organizations and even for facilitating communication between people and policy makers. Platform independency is necessary quality of services for providing interoperability from technical point of view. The interoperability at various levels is an important requirement and vision for public services and it is well defined in initiatives like European Interoperability Framework (EIF) and many national interoperability frameworks. Based on the mentioned frameworks, exchange of data is an ultimate enabler for sharing information and knowledge between organizations.

In addition to platform independency, in order to make the services as resourceful as possible the services need to be designed based on certain principles. The principles for designing services are dependent on the type of applications and users of those services. This paper first describes the concept of service orientation and then explains three different approaches for sharing data and analysis in a city. Finally the paper suggest an architecture (Organizational Service Layer) to implement polyglot binding for flexible, scalable and interoperable implementation of services in a city.

Data About Cities: Redefining Big, Recasting Small

Michael Batty, Professor, Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA), University College London

In this paper, we argue that the development of data with respect to its use in understanding and planning cities is intimately bound up with the development of methods for manipulating such data, in particular digital computation. We argue that although data volumes have dramatically increased as has their variety in urban contexts largely due to the development of micro devices that enable all kinds of human and physical phenomena to be sensed in real time, big data is not peculiar to contemporary times. It essentially goes back to basic notions of how we deal with relationships and functions in cities that relate to interactions. Big data is thus generated by concatenating smaller data sets and in particular if we change our focus from locations to interactions and flows, then data has faced the challenges of bigness for many years. This should make us more careful about defining what is ‘big data’ and to illustrate these points, we first look at traditional interaction patterns – flows of traffic in cities and show some of the problems of searching for pattern in such data. We then augment this discussion of big data by examining much more routine travel data which is sensed from using smart cards for fare-charging and relating this to questions of matching demand and supply in the context of understanding the routine operation of transit. This gives us some sense of the variety of big data and the challenges that are increasingly necessary in dealing with this kind of data in the face of advances in digital computation.

Putting Out Data Fires; life with the OpenStreetMap DWG

Jo Walsh, Registers of Scotland

OpenStreetMap is a collaborative map of the world, being made on a voluntary basis, and the Data Working Group is its dispute resolution service. Edit wars and tagging conflicts are not frequent, and are often dealt with on a community basis, but when they escalate unbearably, someone calls in the DWG. The DWG operates simultaneously as a kind of police force and as the social work arm of the voluntary fire service for OpenStreetMap. I have had the honour of serving on the DWG since November 2014, and will discuss how consideration several cases of active conflict in different cities worldwide, sheds some light on the different forces at work involved in putting together a collaborative map, and the ways in which people are personally affected. The tone of the paper will owe a little to Bruno Latour’s classic infrastructure detective story, “Aramis”.