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Program your city : designing an urban integrated open data API

Rittenbruch, Markus, Foth, Marcus, Robinson, Ricky, & Filonik, Daniel (2012) Program your city : designing an urban integrated open data API. In Hyvönen, Helena & Salmi, Eija (Eds.) Proceedings of Cumulus Helsinki 2012 Conference: Open Helsinki – Embedding Design in Life, Cumulus International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media, Aalto University, Helsinki, pp. 24-28.

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Abstract

Cities accumulate and distribute vast sets of digital information. Many decision-making and planning processes in councils, local governments and organisations are based on both real-time and historical data. Until recently, only a small, carefully selected subset of this information has been released to the public – usually for specific purposes (e.g. train timetables, release of planning application through websites to name just a few).

This situation is however changing rapidly. Regulatory frameworks, such as the Freedom of Information Legislation in the US, the UK, the European Union and many other countries guarantee public access to data held by the state. One of the results of this legislation and changing attitudes towards open data has been the widespread release of public information as part of recent Government 2.0 initiatives. This includes the creation of public data catalogues such as data.gov.au (U.S.), data.gov.uk (U.K.), data.gov.au (Australia) at federal government levels, and datasf.org (San Francisco) and data.london.gov.uk (London) at municipal levels. The release of this data has opened up the possibility of a wide range of future applications and services which are now the subject of intensified research efforts. Previous research endeavours have explored the creation of specialised tools to aid decision-making by urban citizens, councils and other stakeholders (Calabrese, Kloeckl & Ratti, 2008; Paulos, Honicky & Hooker, 2009). While these initiatives represent an important step towards open data, they too often result in mere collections of data repositories. Proprietary database formats and the lack of an open application programming interface (API) limit the full potential achievable by allowing these data sets to be cross-queried.

Our research, presented in this paper, looks beyond the pure release of data. It is concerned with three essential questions: First, how can data from different sources be integrated into a consistent framework and made accessible? Second, how can ordinary citizens be supported in easily composing data from different sources in order to address their specific problems? Third, what are interfaces that make it easy for citizens to interact with data in an urban environment? How can data be accessed and collected?

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ID Code: 49343
Item Type: Conference Paper
Additional Information: Cumulus is the conference of the International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media
Additional URLs:
Keywords: urban informatics, urban computing, government data, social media, sensor networks, middleware, decision support system
ISBN: 9789526000558
ISSN: 1456-307X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > DISTRIBUTED COMPUTING (080500) > Mobile Technologies (080502)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > DISTRIBUTED COMPUTING (080500) > Ubiquitous Computing (080504)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > INFORMATION SYSTEMS (080600) > Computer-Human Interaction (080602)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > DESIGN PRACTICE AND MANAGEMENT (120300) > Digital and Interaction Design (120304)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING (120500) > Urban Design (120508)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > HUMAN GEOGRAPHY (160400) > Urban and Regional Studies (excl. Planning) (160404)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800) > Urban Sociology and Community Studies (160810)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100) > Communication Technology and Digital Media Studies (200102)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Design
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Institutes > Institute for Creative Industries and Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 27 Mar 2012 07:41
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2013 11:50

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