Category: big data

National Geospatial Advisory Committee: The Shape of Geo to Come

Back in late June I attended the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC) meeting here in DC. NGAC is a Federal Advisory Committee sponsored by the Department of the Interior under the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The committee is composed of (mostly) non-federal representatives from all sectors of the geospatial community and features very high profile […]

Report from the RCUK/POST Big Data exhibition

On a very warm Tuesday 15 July, I attended the Research Councils UK (RCUK) Big Data exhibition at the House of Commons in London, organised by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST).read more

The Philosophy of Data Science – Susan Halford: “Semantic web innovations are likely to have implications for us all”

Co-director of the Web Science Institute, Susan Halford, responds to Mark Carrigan‘s latest round of questions for our series on the philosophy of data science. In this feature she underlines the necessity of broad interdisciplinarity as well as further technical training to engage in depth with the web as it evolves in different ways. She argues Web Science must be a critical […]

On Taxis and Rainbow Tables: Lessons for researchers and governments from NYC’s improperly anonymized taxi logs.

When New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission made publicly available 20GB worth of trip and fare logs, many welcomed the vast trove of open data. Unfortunately, prior to being widely shared, the personally identifiable information had not been anonymized properly. Vijay Pandurangan describes the structure of the data, what went wrong with its release, how easy it is to de-anonymize certain […]

The Outing of the Medical Profession: Data marathons to open clinical research gates to frontline service providers.

Could greater data transparency across the medical field solve the problem of unreliable evidence? Dr. Leo Anthony Celi charts the efforts to improve the publicly available MIMIC database, a creation of the public-private partnership between MIT, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Philips Health-Care, through a series of data marathons. Data scientists, nurses, clinicians and doctors are coming together to collaborate and answer clinically relevant […]

The Philosophy of Data Science (series) – Deborah Lupton: Liquid metaphors for Big Data seek to familiarise technology

Continuing our series on big data and its implications for research, Mark Carrigan talks to Deborah Lupton about how sociologists are involved in making sense of and positioning big data. The popularity of the topic provides a great chance for critical reflection on the creation and authority of big data. Also of interest to social researchers are the nature metaphors […]

Reproducible computing with rctrack: Software package addresses fundamental scientific challenges of Big Data era.

Published descriptions of data sets and analysis procedures are helpful ways to ensure scientific results are reproducible. Unfortunately the collection and provision of this information is often provided by researchers in retrospect and can be fraught with uncertainty. The only solution to this problem is to computationally collect and archive data files, code files, result files, and other details while the data analysis […]

The Philosophy of Data Science (series) – Evelyn Ruppert: “Social consequences of Big Data are not being attended to”

For the second interview in our Philosophy of Data Science series, Mark Carrigan interviews Evelyn Ruppert on creating an interdisciplinary forum to discuss the major changes in our relations to data, as subjects, citizens and researchers. The journal Big Data and Society will investigate how data is generated as a part of everyday digital practice and how it is curated, categorised, cleaned, accessed, […]

The Philosophy of Data Science (series) – Rob Kitchin: “Big data should complement small data, not replace them.”

Over the coming weeks we will be featuring a series of interviews conducted by Mark Carrigan on the nature of ‘big data’ and the opportunities and challenges presented for scholarship with its growing influence. In this first interview, Rob Kitchin elaborates on the specific characteristics of big data, the hype and hubris surrounding its advent, and the distinction between data-driven science and empiricism. What […]