The open data movement is a worldwide growing trend and has become a global phenomenon setting a new agenda on access and public services delivery. Its impact on the way we build community life is undeniable, too. A hot topic crossing the borders of the first advocates and early adopters. It has become one of the issues of the day.
Of course, those working more directly on projects related to open data, both from public management (fighting, much of the time, against visible and invisible walls slowly falling down) and from private and civic sectors, creating solutions and tools for collective use of public data for different purposes, are well aware that this widespread of open data initiatives throughout the world is not a good indicator to measure the success. It simply reflects a trend. But celebrations are always tempting and might let us forget the final objective of open data.
I could not attend Future Everything last week and I fully regret it, as it gathered some panelists and speakers that are among my most favourite names regarding the intersection of technologies and urban living, open data and related topics. One of them, Usman Haque, shared some ideas worth remembering and I hope we can soon watch the video.
These inputs put a little wary of the risk of triumphalism and techno-determinism. Open data, along with other movements, have challenged traditional public management logic, creating new ways for collective and concerted action, but there is a long way forward and a less reductionist vision is needed to avoid the trap of thinking a perfect ideologically data-driven neutral future is here and algorithms will be working on our behalf. On the contrary, complexity, confrontation and power-based conflicts are, as always, relevant.
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- boudu said: Awesome post. I’m an epidemiologist and the state level and this post rings so true. Trying to get access to any other data set is amazingly difficult. Even from staffing to expertise, there are still tremendous barriers. Thx.
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