We are facing a time where our relationship to real-world spaces is shifting, and our futures will be defined by how we are digitally represented and connected. Any effective public response relies on up to date, accurate and expansive information, yet leaders and organizations are just starting to use data to augment practices of participatory governance and community representation. Technological developments in the fields of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and social media presently provide unprecedented opportunities for data gathering, management, and analysis, greatly expanding the detailed, vibrant and informed contributions it is possible to empower individuals and groups to generate.
Open Data for All
Community engaged open data projects can provide the local community access and training in data gathering, synthesis, analysis and presentation. Imagine residents working together to survey and communicate with neighbors, use the data to identify emerging issues and predict needs, and present the supporting information to make the case for allocating attention and resources where they are most needed. Networks of collaboration and support can emerge through outreach practices and relationship building, and new and profound opportunities for group level participation in economic and political policy can become reality.