Tag Archive | Harvard University

The Importance of Spatial Thinking

by Kirk Goldsberry, Harvard Business Review, September 30, 2013

In its 375 years, Harvard has only ever eliminated one entire academic program. If you had to guess, what program do you think that was and when was it killed off? The answer: Harvard eradicated its Geography Department in the 1940s, and many universities followed suit. … As I look out on the world of data visualization, I see a lot of reinventing of the wheel precisely because so many young, talented visualizers lack geographical training. … Which brings us back to the sheer lack of geographical training available.”

To read this thoughtful and timely essay, visit: http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/09/teaching-and-learning-visualiz/

 

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Op-Ed Silicon Valley’s Problem – Technology vs Governance

By Catherine Bracy, Director of International Programs at Code for America, December 31, 2012

…But even if they were politically savvy, the issues the technology industry would be pushing are a different set of interests than consumers (and by that I mean citizens) are concerned with. Which brings me to the second part of what I meant: those who have outsized power and influence through network technology to make their voices heard often put it to use in the most inane and self-centered ways. There was lots of talk after the Internet beat back SOPA and PIPA about the potential for networked models of citizen participation that actually WORKED. The so-far failed opportunity to realize that potential has been starkly revealed in the last few weeks: the tech-savvy in an uproar over Instagram’s terms of service while at the same time sitting idly by as FISA gets reauthorized, and staring helplessly from the sidelines as Congress bungles the fiscal cliff. …

For full text of this op-ed, please visit Silicon Valley’s Problem | BraceLand.

Measuring Impact of Open Government Data – Open Data Research Meeting Report Available

by Jose M. Alonso, World Wide Web Foundation Blog, May 24, 2012
The Web Foundation is happy to share a report on the outcomes of a recent meeting of Open Government Data practitioners that took place in Brasilia on April 26th of this year. Given the increasing interest in Open Data programs around the globe, and the expectations of their implementation, the need for a critical measurement of outcomes and empirical evidence to support such measurement has become ever more important. The Web Foundation has recently begun this work by partnering with the International Development Research Center and the Berkman Center at Harvard University to host the first convening of Open Data Research (South), a gathering of 20 renowned policy-oriented academics from around the globe and representing diverse areas of expertise to develop a research agenda and network to facilitate impact measurement of Open Government Data in the Global South and developing world.
Attendees worked to develop a research agenda to ensure that Open Government Data programs in the Global South meet several key outcomes, namely: that they foster greater openness, support citizens’ rights, and remain inclusive of the citizenry. Key issues of exploration included Open Data’s potential to challenge democratic deficits, create economic value and foster greater inclusion, particularly in the developing world. Full details of each day’s agenda and outcomes can be found in the full report. This is part of an ongoing process; a blog to take forward ideas from the workshop has been also opened.

For a copy of this report, visit Measuring Open Government Data.

To Know, but Not Understand: David Weinberger on Science and Big Data

David Weinberger asks a question of the Folkso...

by David Weinberger, The Atlantic, Jan 3, 2012

In an edited excerpt from his new book, Too Big to Know, David Weinberger explains how the massive amounts of data necessary to deal with complex phenomena exceed any single brain’s ability to grasp, yet networked science rolls on.

… Now there is a literally immeasurable, continuous stream of climate data from satellites circling the earth, buoys bobbing in the ocean, and Wi-Fi-enabled sensors in the rain forest. … All this data and much, much more became worth recording once we could record it, once we could process it with computers, and once we could connect the data streams and the data processors with a network. How will we ever make sense of scientific topics that are too big to know? …

For full text of the article, visit To Know, but Not Understand: David Weinberger on Science and Big Data – Atlantic Mobile.

Crisis Management: Understanding the Real Impact of ICTs, Social Media and Crisis Mapping 

Digital Development Debates, published by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, features a short essay from the ICT for Peace Foundation looking at the use of ICTs in crisis response, peace-keeping, conflict resolution and state-building.

by Daniel Stauffacher, Barbara Weekes, Sanjana Hattotuwa, June 23, 2011

The idea of trying to better understand the role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in promoting and building peace emerged, at a policy level, in the context of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)[1]. In preparing for the first phase of the Summit, held in Geneva in 2003, it was recognized that the scope of what was considered primarily a technical matter of communications and infrastructure needed to be enlarged to encompass content, development, socio-political goals and emergent fields such as e-health, e-education, and e-government. Information and communication technology has become a societal issue presenting both opportunities and challenges. The WSIS “Geneva Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action” consequently emphasized the central role of ICTs in many areas of economic and social development. The risk of a growing ‘digital divide’, where ICTs could reinforce rather than reduce inequalities was acknowledged, and recommendations were made in order to turn the digital divide into a digital opportunity for all. …

for full text of the article visit Digital Development Debates – 04 Media – Disaster relief – Crisis Management  .

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Maria Popova: In a new world of informational abundance, content curation is a new kind of authorship

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

By Maria Popova, Nieman Journalism Lab, Harvard University

Editor’s Note: Maria Popova is the editor of Brain Pickings, a curation of “cross-disciplinary interestingness” that scours the world of the web and beyond for share-worthy tidbits. Here, she considers how new approaches to curation are changing the way we consume and share information.

Last week, Megan Garber wrote an excellent piece on whether Twitter is speech or text. Yet despite a number of insightful and timely points, I’d argue there is a fundamental flaw with the very dichotomy of the question. While Twitter can certainly be both, it’s inherently neither. And trying to classify it within one or both of these conventional checkboxes completely misses the point that we might, in fact, have to invent an entirely new checkbox. …

via Maria Popova: In a new world of informational abundance, content curation is a new kind of authorship » Nieman Journalism Lab » Pushing to the Future of Journalism.

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