One of my little side projects is to explore historical images and maps of Bath and the surrounding areas. I like understanding the contrast between how Bath used to look and how it is today. It's grown and changed a huge amount over the years. It gives me a strong sense of place and history. … Continue reading Bath Historical Images
In 2021 I'm planning to spend some more time exploring different data ecosystems with an emphasis on understanding the flows of data within and between different data initiatives, the tools they use to collect and share data, and the role of collaborative maintenance and open standards. One project I've been looking at this week is … Continue reading The Common Voice data ecosystem
There are lots of recent examples of researchers collecting and releasing datasets which end up raising serious ethical and legal concerns. The IBM facial recognition dataset being just one example that springs to mind. I read an interesting post exploring how facial recognition datasets are being widely used despite being taken down due to ethical … Continue reading The importance of tracking dataset retractions and updates
Vaughn Tan's The Uncertainty Mindset is one of the most fascinating books I've read this year. It's an exploration of how to build R&D teams drawing on lessons learned in high-end kitchens around the world. I love cooking and I'm interested in creative R&D and what makes high-performing teams work well. I'd strongly recommend it … Continue reading Four types of innovation around data
I read an interesting article this week by Ana Brandusescu, Michael Canares and Silvana Fumega. Called "Open data standards design behind closed doors?" it explores issues of inclusion and equity around the development of "open data standards" (which I'm reading as "open standards for data"). Ana, Michael and Silvana rightly highlight that standards development is … Continue reading Increasing inclusion around open standards for data
"FAIR" (or "FAIR data") is an term that I've been bumping into more and more frequently. For example, its included in the UK's recently published Geospatial Strategy. FAIR is an acronym that stands for Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. It defines a set of principles that highlight some important aspects of publishing machine-readable data well. … Continue reading FAIR, fairer, fairest?
Registers are useful lists of information. A register might be a list of countries, companies, or registered doctors. Or addresses. At the ODI we did a whole report on registers. It looks at different types of registers and how they're governed. And GDS built a whole infrastructure to support them being published and used across … Continue reading What kinds of data is it useful to include in a register?
In my last post I explored how we might better support the use of datasets. To do that I applied the BASEDEF framework to outline the ways in which communities might collaborate to help unlock more value from individual datasets. But what if we changed our focus from supporting discovery and use of datasets and … Continue reading Cooking up a new approach to supporting purposeful use of data
Getting the most value from data, whilst minimising its harmful impacts, is a community activity. Datasets need to be governed and published well. Most of that responsibility falls on the data publisher. Because the choices they make shapes data ecosystems. But other people have a role to play too. Being a good data user means … Continue reading How can you help support the use of a dataset?
Change discovery is the process of identifying changes to a resource. For example, that a document has been updated. Or, in the case of a dataset, whether some part of the data has been amended, e.g. to add data, fill in missing values, or correct existing data. If we can identify that changes have been … Continue reading Why is change discovery important for open data?