‘Community data’: An exploration of the future digital public space
August 26, 2012

In the past months, I’ve focused on research in urban planning as my primary research context.

Just next week, I am heading to Pittsburgh (USA) to attend the ubicomp conference as a presenter of a full paper, a participant in the SOFTec workshop. It will be an excellent opportunity to exchange some ideas with members of the computing community on the proposal of ‘Community Data’ that is put forward in this paper.

Computing will have a tremendous effect on cities and urban places in the future and that their work will fundamentally influence our perception of society. Computing scientists and some urbanism researchers advertise the opportunities of sensing for city planning, but the risks of soft-control are equally high, and thus my paper will seek to highlight the importance to reflect on the local communities and their ubicomp demands in place.

For emergent digital infrastructure, we need to ensure to discuss, understand, and development appropriate standards for data gathering. I argue that an opportunity rests in the avoidance of the ‘distantiation‘ of data management  by actively seeking and encouraging citizens involvement in data management practices of ubicomp systems.

Initial responses

In a report on the conference published in the IEEE’s Pervasive Computing Journal, Sidhant Gupta and Matthew Kay ((downloadable here: link)) wrote:

In the final session, Sebastian Weise of Lancaster University presented, “Democratizing Ubiquitous Computing—A Right for Locality,” arguing for the need to both localize and democratize ubicomp infrastructure. He explored who controls data in ubicomp infra-structures and asked how individuals should be involved in managing their data at different levels: from local to city-wide to global. He stressed that as urban computing environments are built, we must consider democratization from the beginning to ensure that people’s data remains within their control.