The Programmable City
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The Programmable City
How is the city translated into software and data, and how does software reshape the city?
Curated by Rob Kitchin
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Inside Monsanto, America's Third-Most-Hated Company - big data and farming | Bloomberg

Inside Monsanto, America's Third-Most-Hated Company - big data and farming | Bloomberg | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

What's the genetically modified seed factory up to? Making high-tech plans to feed a growing world.

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Which is why Spears is in his tractor at two in the morning the first Monday in May, moving at 8 miles per hour through a halogen-lit haze of stirred-up topsoil. On the 60-foot planter behind him, a $47,000 sensor array helps deposit each corn kernel at a depth of 2 inches, no matter how hard or soft the soil. A computer in the cab calculates the fertility of different parts of the field and adjusts the planter accordingly. The seeds themselves are a new hybrid with a candy-green coating containing insecticides and fungicides. DNA inserted into the seeds produces a protein that kills pests such as corn borers, earworms, and rootworms. Other spliced-in genes confer immunity to the weed killers Spears uses, greatly simplifying his spraying schedule ....

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How Welcoming Will the Smart Home of the Future Be? | MIT Technology Review

Imagine a dishwasher that requires a username and password. Smart homes will require unprecedented effort to ensure not just security but also usability.

 

The battle between Google and Apple is moving from smart phones to smart things, with both companies vying to provide the underlying architecture that networks your appliances, utilities, and entertainment equipment. Earlier in June, at its annual developer conference, Apple announced HomeKit, a new software framework for communications between home devices and Apple’s devices. Meanwhile, Nest, a maker of smart thermostats and smoke alarms that was bought by Google earlier this year for $3.2 billion, recently launched a similar endeavor with software that lets developers build apps for its products and those from several other companies. ...

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Video: Data science, big data, and statistics – all together now | Flowing Data

Video: Data science, big data, and statistics – all together now | Flowing Data | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Terry Speed, a emeritus professor in statistics at University of California at Berkeley, gave an excellent talk on how statisticians can play nice with big data and data science. Usually these talks go in the direction of saying data science is statistics. This one is more on the useful, non-snarky side.

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The difference between data and wisdom: Smart cities have a lot to learn | TheCityFix

The difference between data and wisdom: Smart cities have a lot to learn | TheCityFix | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

This article reports on presentations made by Philip Yang, President, URBEM (Urbanism and Urban Studies Institute for the city of Sao Paulo), Jianming Cai, Professor at the Institute of Geographic Sciences & Natural Resources Research (IGSNRR), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and Alexandros Washburn Founding Director, Center for Coastal Resilience and Urban eXcellence (CRUX) at Stevens Institute of Technology at a panel organized by the Wilson Center.

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EU Commission urges governments to embrace potential of Big Data | EU Press Release

EU Commission urges governments to embrace potential of Big Data | EU Press Release | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Data collection and exploitation is a growing phenomenon; in response to industry and grassroots demands the European Commission is today calling on national governments to wake-up to this “big data” revolution.

 

Vice President @NeelieKroesEU said "It’s about time we focus on the positive aspects of big data. Big data sounds negative and scary, and for the most part it isn’t. Leaders need to embrace big data.” ...

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Predictive analytics in the city | The Programmable City

  Predictive analytics is a way of responding to and taking advantage of historical and emerging, large datasets by using “a variety of statistical, modeling, data mining, and machine learning techniques … to to make predictions about the future”. One of the advantages of drawing predictions from big data, according to the vision of social physics, is that

 

You can write down equations that predict what people will do. That’s the huge change. So I have been running the big data conversation … It’s about the fact that you can now understand customers, employees, how we organise, in a quantitative, predictive way for the first time.

 

Predictive analytics is fervently discussed in the business world, if not fully taken up, and increasingly by public services, governments or medical practices to exploit the value hidden in the public archive or even in social media. In New York for example, there is a geek squad to Mayor’s office, seeking to uncover deep and detailed relationships between the people living there and the government, and at the same time realising “how insanely complicated this city is”. In there, an intriguing question remains as to the effectiveness of predictive analytics, the extent to which it can support and facilitate urban life and the consequences to the cities that are immersed in a deep sea of data, predictions and humans. ...

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What Can a 'Science of Cities' Offer Planners? | Planetizen

What Can a 'Science of Cities' Offer Planners? | Planetizen | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

The urbanist Jane Jacobs was famous for her withering 1961 criticism of modern urban planning: it was, she said, a "pseudoscience" that was "almost neurotic in its obsession to imitate empiric failure and ignore empiric success." Since then, by some accounts, planners and urban designers have not fared much better. In 2012, a Scientific American article highlighted the similarly damning work of Stephen Marshall of University College London. Writing in the journal Urban Design International, Marshall presented evidence that in spite of lip service to work by Jacobs and others, urban planning remains burdened by a pseudo-scientific approach. The press coverage provoked considerable debate and soul-searching on discussion lists and blogs.

Is the criticism fair? One way to evaluate the scientific rigor of planning is to assess its topics from the perspective of other, more recognized "natural" sciences. For physicists, for example, a city is an immensely complex physical system with many layers of social and technological interaction. Physicists like Luis Bettencourt and Geoffrey West are describing the workings of urban systems with new mathematical precision—and doing, as West puts it, "Jacobs with the math." (Others active in this field include the urban morphologists Mike Batty and Sergio Porta, the mathematician Nikos Salingaros, and the urban economist Jose Lobo.) ...

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A new report examines the £8.9bn spent by central and local government on 20 top suppliers using open data | Public Finance

A new report examines the £8.9bn spent by central and local government on 20 top suppliers. It sheds much light on the relationships – but greater transparency is needed to ensure the information is accurate and the money is used effectively

Where does public money go? Specifically, which private companies are receiving most revenue from government in exchange for providing goods and services? Thanks to the government’s commitment to open data, and Spend Network spending some 16,000 hours analysing more than 38 million government transactions, we now have some idea and have published a major report.

Based on public procurement data published by government and from what we’ve ascertained in the last 24 hours since publishing, it appears that the top 20 suppliers to central and local government received at least £8.9bn between them in 2013. IT companies account for six of the top 20, including Capgemini and HP. Outsourcing’s supposed ‘Big Four’ – Atos, Capita, G4S and Serco – do not currently occupy the top four slots, and not all of them feature in our top 20.

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Citizens Submit Winning Ideas to Improve Their Cities | IBM video comp for smarter cities

Citizens Submit Winning Ideas to Improve  Their Cities | IBM video comp for smarter cities | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

When ordinary people make an effort to change the world for the better, something extraordinary is bound to happen. Which is why IBM’s People for Smarter Cities, in a partnership with the video crowdsourcing platform Zooppa, asked citizens around the world for ideas on making cities smarter. ...

 

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André Lemos's curator insight, June 28, 2014 6:54 AM

Vídeo com ideias para melhorar as cidades.

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Can the “Playable City” Make Smart City Critics Smile? – Next City

Can the “Playable City” Make Smart City Critics Smile? – Next City | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Imagine a city where, as you walk along the sidewalk, you can see the moving shadows of pedestrians who preceded you. A city where you can exchange text messages with lampposts, where poems appear in light on waterways, and pipes emit music. Such urban whimsy would constitute a “playable city,” according to the UK-based organization Watershed. ...

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New: Journal of Data Mining and Digital Humanities

New: Journal of Data Mining and Digital Humanities | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

This is the homepage of the Journal of Data Mining and Digital Humanities.

 

Digital Humanities is a convergence of humanities fields (linguistic, history, psychology…) using data archives, processing and interaction. Data mining is an interdisciplinary subfield of computer science, involving the methods at the intersection of artificial intelligence, machine learning and database systems. The Journal of Data Mining & Digital Humanities is concerned with the intersection of computing and the disciplines of the humanities, with tools provided by computing such as data visualisation, information retrieval, statistics, text mining by publishing scholarly work beyond the traditional humanities.

 

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Smart Cities Should Be Social Cities | Future Cities

Smart Cities Should Be Social Cities | Future Cities | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

he visions we get about future cities are inevitably "smart," generally slick, and frequently lonely. Data helps individuals to glide their way around a city smoothly without the crippling embarrassment of asking for directions, or indeed talking to anyone.

 

So where is everyone else? What does the future city say about future communities? After all, no matter how much we grumble or bury ourselves in digital distractions on the daily commute, we're social creatures. Part of the buzz about being in a city is the chance to meet and connect with new communities. A group of social tech ventures we have funded at Nominet Trust is finding innovative ways for technology to go beyond giving us information about the local environment, and instead enable communities to shape the cities of the future. ...

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80kms of documents to become digital archive - Venice Time Machine | Phys.org

80kms of documents to become digital archive - Venice Time Machine | Phys.org | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
One of the oldest and most complete historical archives in the world is a step closer to being developed into an open digital archive. The Lombard Odier Foundation is joining as a funding partner to take the Venice Time Machine project to the next level.
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Chicgo: City of Big Data Makes the Invisible, Visible | Architectural Record

Chicgo: City of Big Data Makes the Invisible, Visible | Architectural Record | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

For the exhibition Chicago: City of Big Data, CAF turned its centerpiece Chicago Model—a 320-square-foot resin replica of the city’s downtown, updated annually to reflect additions and subtractions—into an interpretive piece through which to “view” the city’s data. Encompassing everything from tweets to demographics to air quality, so-called big data is increasingly employed by city governments, developers, and designers to create smarter infrastructure that better integrates the urban environment with its populace. ...

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Smart cities: Putting big data to work for ordinary citizens | Waterloo Stories

Smart cities: Putting big data to work for ordinary citizens | Waterloo Stories | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Beth Coleman thinks the awesome power of big data should be used to create great cities - not just to get an upgrade on your morning latte for liking a coffee shop on Facebook.

 

“Big data has been going on in industry for more than a decade and we’ve been volunteering this information as social media users. But if we are in the age of data we need to work harder to make it available and valuable to ordinary people,” says Coleman, professor in the Department of English Language and Literature and director of a new research lab at the University of Waterloo called City as Platform. ...

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Electronics City to nurture Smart cities - testbed urbanism | The Asian Age

Electronics City to nurture Smart cities - testbed urbanism | The Asian Age | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

By the end of the year, if you are driving into Bengaluru’s Electronics City, you could be witness to the beginnings of a ‘Smart City’, one in which, for instance, as you move into the 900-acre campus, you will know exactly where the nearest available parking spot is just as you approach your destination building.

 

In what could be a game-changer for urban services in Indian cities, networking giant Cisco, the Electronics City Industries Association (ELCIA), and the Electronics City Industrial Township Authority (ELCITA) have joined hands to develop Asia’s first ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) Innovation Hub and a 5-kilometre test-bed inside Electronic City where dozens of start-ups, building on top of Cisco’s network infrastructure and expertise, will design, produce and deploy the technologies, devices and applications for a ‘Smart City’. ...

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Ericsson unveils crowdsourcing platform to encourage cities to get networked | The Drum

Ericsson unveils crowdsourcing platform to encourage cities to get networked | The Drum | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
Swedish telecommunications company Ericsson has launched a crowdsourcing platform to map ICT-related initiatives in cities in Northern...
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Boston Big Data By the Numbers

Boston Big Data By the Numbers | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

485 companies participate in Massachusetts’ Big Data ecosystem, ranging from budding startups to established corporations. Not only is the Big Data scene massive, but it is also diverse. Local companies offer a vast suite of Big Data services from analysis tools to storage and other hardware. Data analysis software and data management software companies comprise over half of the Big Data ecosystem, but the vast majority, 67 percent, create industry-specific data applications serving a multitude of industries. The highest targeted vertical is marketing and advertising followed by healthcare; but life sciences, financial services, energy, and numerous other sectors also rely heavily on Big Data and local service providers.

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Boston: There’s an App for That - civic hacking and transformation of local gov | Politico

Boston: There’s an App for That - civic hacking and transformation of local gov | Politico | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Now comes the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, a scrappy five-person team charged with making Boston better through clever, low-cost hacks. They’re talking makeover. Not the gazillions-of-dollars kind. Something a lot cheaper. But still: a makeover. Finally. ...

 

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Of smart cities and (un)smart decisions – A tale of misplaced urban priorities in India | DNA

Of smart cities and (un)smart decisions – A tale of misplaced urban priorities in India | DNA | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Of smart cities and (un)smart decisions – A tale of misplaced priorities - It has been more than a month since the Modi-led BJP government swept to power at the Center, primarily riding on the anti-incumbency wave against the UPA, and on the promise of good days ahead.

 

Having worked on Mumbai’s housing and urbanisation issues at the grassroot level, I'd like to highlight the misplaced priorities and the consequent policy contradictions in urban areas that have emerged in the new government’s short tenure until now. This article analyses our urban future given the current political climate in light of a few recent incidents in Mumbai. It is time for the State to rethink its priorities and goals for urban India. ...

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Why Moneyball (big data) Doesn't Work at the World Cup | Foreign Policy

Why Moneyball (big data) Doesn't Work at the World Cup | Foreign Policy | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Forget big data -- measuring performance during this tournament is a losing battle.

 

Sports analytics -- or moneyball, if you prefer -- is hot right now, and nowhere more so than in football. Something of a latecomer to the gospel of data, the beautiful game is now embracing it with the zeal of the converted. With its fortuitous timing, the World Cup seems like an obvious showcase for the best that football's data experts have to offer. Except it's not.

 

Football data is big business. Several companies already collect data from on-field events to sell to clubs and, increasingly, fans and media. Opta, Prozone, and Infostrada have been working furiously throughout the World Cup, publishing match data in visually attractive ways to raise their profiles and attract new customers. And there's nothing wrong with that -- these companies have no choice but to take advantage of the tournament's massive global popularity to move product and get wider exposure for their work.

 

The problem is, as far as statistical analysis goes, the World Cup itself is probably the least friendly event on the football calendar.

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Africa’s Smart Cities | Ventures Africa

Africa’s Smart Cities | Ventures Africa | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Building complex databases and deploying sophisticated algorithms in real-time may seem a high-tech approach far removed from the capabilities of Africa’s cities. Yet cities like Lagos, Accra and Nairobi are already putting this approach in place, as municipal administrators increasingly buy into the idea of smarter cities.

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Disney and big data | FT video

Vlad Rak, vice-president, enterprise architecture and information, at Disney, discusses the opportunities and challenges of dealing with big data without int...
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The 10 Algorithms That Dominate Our World | io9

The 10 Algorithms That Dominate Our World | io9 | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
The importance of algorithms in our lives today cannot be overstated. They are used virtually everywhere, from financial institutions to dating sites. But some algorithms shape and control our world more than others -- and these ten are the most significant.
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Google's Nest Moves To Become Master Of The Smart Home, By Talking To Other Devices | Forbes

Google's Nest Moves To Become Master Of The Smart Home, By Talking To Other Devices | Forbes | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
The smart thermostat maker moves to become a hub that talks to lights, cars, phones and Google itself, allowing them all to share data with one another and ‘personalize’ the home.
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