Posts Tagged ‘technology’

Public consumption of data is at an all-time high and growing.

GOOD’s ‘Transparency’ series relays a study on Americans data consumption and it finds that 3.6 Zettabytes are consumed daily; that averages out to about 34 gigabytes per person.

Another statistic shows that among mobile phone users, mobile internet is used by 26% of people. This number is expected to jump to 43.5% by 2013.

The emerging field of urban computing ties these two statistics together and at the same time aims to democratize public data even further. As it stands right now, citizens/users have to navigate through byzantine government websites to access data that is poorly organized and underused. Developers, such as City-Go-Round, are trying to coax the potential out of the data and organize it into useful sets for public use. In developing Apps for mobile devices, these developers recognize the ability of computing to transform the way we interact with our surroundings.

Yesterday London also recognized developer abilities and decided to create an online data warehouse.

The warehouse will include “[i]nformation about planning decisions, crime rates, abandoned vehicles, house prices, road accidents and many other metrics…”

In addition to providing the data, they are providing incentive to developers to do interesting things:

“Those who come up with the most innovative ways to harness the data could get a substantial grant to help them bring their idea to life.

4iP, Channel 4’s Innovation for the Public Fund, said it would back the best ideas with a £200,000 cash pot.”

To say the least, government catching up with and aiding the development of innovative urban living is a welcome trend and one which I hope flourishes in this new decade.


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