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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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The road to 2015 is paved with open data

The road to 2015 is paved with open data | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
By David Hall-Matthews, managing director at Publish What You Fund. This is the 17th post in our blog series on ‘What kind of ‘data revolution’ do we need for post-2015?’ Transparency is a key pill...
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Syria’s Socially Mediated Civil War

Syria’s Socially Mediated Civil War | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
Summary Analysis of the unprecedented use of social media on Syria points to important findings on the role of new media in conflict zones. In particular, social media create a dangerous illusion of unmediated information flows.
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£50m Future cities lab aims to create smart city of the future @ Newcastle Uni

Newcastle University has announced a £50 million project to create a future cities laboratory to trial emerging technologies and systems. The new 10,000m2 facility, to be located at Newcastle’s Science Central, will combine digital ingenuity and scientific expertise with social innovation to create the smart city of the future.

 

The university’s engineers, scientists and digital researchers are asking the public what they need to improve their everyday lives and will use this feedback, together with information about energy systems, environment and mobility from sensors spread across the city. The enterprise is a milestone in the progress of Science Central, a new urban quarter which has been earmarked for digitally enabled urban sustainability research. The university’s presence on Science Central is part of its commitment to the Science City partnership with Newcastle City Council.

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Foursquare's new initiative to track the location of users' phones without requiring them to check in | BI

Foursquare's new initiative to track the location of users' phones without requiring them to check in | BI | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Last month, Foursquare removed users' ability to privately check in to locations on the iOS version of its app. The company will likely soon revoke the feature on its Android and desktop versions, making all future check-ins public. This will help Foursquare position itself as a public recommendation service, rather than simply a game-like check-in service. 

 

Publicly revealing locations might deter some users from checking in, but Foursquare has a solution to this problem as well.

 

Foursquare briefed ad executives recently on a new initiative to track the location of users' phones, without requiring them to check in, according to Digiday. The app is able to do this by taking advantage of the "Background App Refresh" feature on iOS7 devices. On Android devices, Foursquare is pinging smartphones "every few minutes" to determine a user's location. So, Foursquare no longer needs users to publicly check in to know where they are. ...

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Google says anything flowing across open WiFi is fair game | Privacy SOS

Google says anything flowing across open WiFi is fair game | Privacy SOS | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Google made news today when the internet advertising giant announced it would pay $3.2 billion cash for the acquisition of a company called Nest, which manufacturers “sensor-driven, Wi-Fi-enabled, self-learning, programmable thermostats and smoke detectors.” Like AT&T, Google appears dissatisfied with controlling millions of people's communications and internet experience; now these companies want access to the inside of our homes ...

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Invisible intelligence: how tiny sensors could connect everything we own | The Verge

Invisible intelligence: how tiny sensors could connect everything we own | The Verge | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

The Kolibree toothbrush knows more about your mouth than you ever wanted to know. It monitors how you brush your teeth and lets you know if you're doing it wrong (yes, you can fail at brushing your teeth .....

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Big Data on the High Seas | Bloomberg

Big Data on the High Seas | Bloomberg | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
In the summer of 2012, an oil tanker anchored mid-ocean transferred cargo for 19 hours. Separately, a ship en route to the Philippines turned its location-broadcasting system on and off, disappearing and reappearing every 36 hours.
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Digital maps' unsung hero: how the geocoder puts us on the grid | Guardian

You may not realise you rely on it, but the geocoder makes sense of ambiguous search terms we type into digital maps - whether from Google, Apple, Microsoft, Nokia or any other.

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The Next Data Privacy Battle May Be Waged Inside Your Car | New York Times

The Next Data Privacy Battle May Be Waged Inside Your Car | New York Times | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
As cars increasingly come equipped with Internet connections, GPS and data recorders, concerns about what is being tracked and who has access to it.
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Smart Parking Tech Might be Paying Off in U.S. Cities

Smart Parking Tech Might be Paying Off in U.S. Cities | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

An IBM survey of 20 cities worldwide found that international cities far outpace New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago on “parking pain. 

A new survey from IBM has confirmed what city managers, travelers and commuters already know from everyday experience: finding a parking space in a big city can be a frustrating and sometimes futile chore. And the problem isn’t confined to the U.S. — it’s an issue around the world. ...

 

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MIT vs. IDEO: Opposing Approaches Design the Internet of Things | Wired

MIT vs. IDEO: Opposing Approaches Design the Internet of Things | Wired | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Designing for the Internet of Things (IoT) may seem like it is technology driven, but there is another approach worth consideration. Keep humanity at the heart of IoT design.

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Rule by Algorithm? Big Data and the Threat of Algocracy | IEET

Rule by Algorithm? Big Data and the Threat of Algocracy | IEET | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

An increasing number of people are worried about the way in which our data is being mined by governments and corporations.  Morozov’s argument is the argument from the threat of algocracy (i.e. rule by algorithm). At the heart of this argument is the debate about what legitimates governmental decision-making in the first place. ...

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Got pests? Open data project reveals housing code violation data | SFBG

Got pests? Open data project reveals housing code violation data | SFBG | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Thanks to a handy new online platform created by the city’s Department of Public Health, in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation and Code for America, you can now determine whether the rental you’re eyeing is moldy, pest-ridden, or otherwise hazardous to your health – before signing a lease.

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The Rise and Fall and Eventual Rise Again of the 'Smart City' | Atlantic Cities

The Rise and Fall and Eventual Rise Again of the 'Smart City' | Atlantic Cities | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

It would have been hard to miss the messaging over the last five years: Major global tech firms like IBM, Cisco, and Siemens seemingly all adopted the same "smart cities" mission at the same time. And they weren't alone. Across the globe, technology companies of all sizes have taken aim at the burgeoning smart city market, a nebulous term that can include anything from complex networks of government-controlled sensors and cameras to a parking meter that sends you a text message when you run out of time on the meter.

 

For Anthony Townsend, research director at the Palo Alto-based Institute for the Future and an adjunct assistant professor of planning at NYU Wagner, the rise of the "smart city" concept is both the result of global economic forces and the culmination of decades of technological progress. But with his new book Smart Cities, Townsend also sounds the alarm that the real "smart" city of the future can't and shouldn't merely be a reflection of what large technology companies would like to sell to local governments. Recently we chatted with Townsend about his research and current work on smart cities. ...

 

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Nest: Just another big data source for the all-seeing, all-knowing future Google

Nest: Just another big data source for the all-seeing, all-knowing future Google | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
If you're still trying to understand Google's acquisition of smart home company Nest, it's helpful to start by thinking about what Google knows and doesn't know about you right now. At any given ti...
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How London plans to eliminate the search for a parking spot | Quartz

How London plans to eliminate the search for a parking spot | Quartz | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

 

This week, the City of Westminster, one of London’s local councils, will start embedding the first of 3,000 sensors into the streets. They will be in the ground by the end of March, making London the world’s first major city to adopt the long-heralded “smart parking” revolution.


The idea is simple. According to the council, motorists spend an average of 15 minutes searching for a space in Westminster—which with Parliament, the main shopping district, and dozens of tourist sites, has a legitimate claim to be the heart of London. If drivers know where the empty spaces are, they won’t have to cruise the streets looking for one.
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How to cope with the Internet of Things' dark side | USA Today

How to cope with the  Internet of Things' dark side | USA Today | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to usher in exciting new ways of enhancing our lives, doing our jobs, conducting business, and more – simply by connecting everyday objects to the Internet.

But the intersection of our physical world with the ubiquitous always-on Internet opens a Pandora's Box of security and privacy risks that cannot be ignored. Consider this scenario: your Facebook account is hacked, and all of a sudden, your location, home security system, and even your car, are left vulnerable.

 

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Big Data and Social Control | Tech and Law Center

Big Data and Social Control | Tech and Law Center | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
Big Data and Social Control Alessandro Mantelero and Giuseppe Vaciago analyse in this paper the revolution in social analysis due to Big Data and their predictive capacities.
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How We Are Entering The Second Phase Of The Mobile Revolution | ReadWrite

How We Are Entering The Second Phase Of The Mobile Revolution | ReadWrite | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Don't look now, but mobile technology is starting to infiltrate ... everything.

 

Think your smartphone is smart? You ain't seen nuthin' yet. The technology that powers mobile is in the process of spreading, well, everywhere—and the world around us is going to be radically transformed as a result.

 

Think of it as the next big phase in the evolution of mobile computing. Cars, televisions, factories, clothes and other wearable items ... you name it, and the innovations that were developed for smartphones are going to help define the new things they'll do and how you'll use them. ...

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Hackers, Makers, and the Next Industrial Revolution by Evgeny Morozov | New Yorker

Hackers, Makers, and the Next Industrial Revolution by Evgeny Morozov | New Yorker | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
When, in November, the publisher Stewart Brand was asked about who carries the flag of counterculture today, he pointed to the maker movement. The maker era might not be upon us yet, but the maker movement has arrived.
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Big Data, Public Services and Public Acceptance. Who Benefits? | Discover Society

Big Data, Public Services and Public Acceptance. Who Benefits? | Discover Society | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Exactly what the Big Data agenda will deliver is open to debate. For some, its potential to pull together private and public datasets will provide behavioural insights that address an array of important policy issues. Others, more sceptical, contend its impetus arises from the desire to open up public services and its information to commercial enterprise. ...

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The Rise of Open Streets | Open Streets Project

In 1965, Seattle started Bicycle Sunday, the first documented Open Streets initiative in the world. The idea spread slowly across North America and beyond, as cities began to open their streets to people. Bogotá’s Ciclovia began in 1976, and has inspired Open Streets initiatives across the world. Much of this inspiration came in the form of a 2007 Streetfilms video on the world’s most successful Open Streets. At the time of the video’s creation, there were only about 10 Open Streets in North America. Now there are over 100, in cities and towns of all sizes. 2013 was another great year for Open Streets, with new initiatives popping up in San Diego, Indianapolis, Salt Lake City and Buffalo to name just a few.

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The Tyranny of the Datum by John Kuhn | The Chalk Face

A great deal of innovation is happening right now in the field of data collection, storage, and management in the field of education. There are some well-documented fears among parents and teachers regarding these trends. Who will control the data? How will the data be used? Will my child’s data be protected? The worst-case scenarios–data misuse, hacking, data misrepresentation, a great sabotage of American schools–are downright terrifying. ....

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Small Data, Data Infrastructures and Big Data by Rob Kitchin, Tracey P. Lauriault | SSRN

Small Data, Data Infrastructures and Big Data by Rob Kitchin, Tracey P. Lauriault | SSRN | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

The production of academic knowledge has progressed for the past few centuries using small data studies characterized by sampled data generated to answer specific questions. It is a strategy that has been remarkably successful, enabling the sciences, social sciences and humanities to advance in leaps and bounds. This approach is presently being challenged by the development of big data. Small data studies will, however, continue to be important in the future because of their utility in answering targeted queries. Nevertheless, small data are being made more big data-like through the development of new data infrastructures that pool, scale and link small data in order to create larger datasets, encourage sharing and re-use, and open them up to combination with big data and analysis using big data analytics. This paper examines the logic and value of small data studies, their relationship to emerging big data and data science, and the implications of scaling small data into data infrastructures, with a focus on spatial data examples. The final section provides a framework for conceptualizing and making sense of data and data infrastructures

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A Makeover for Maps | NY Times

A Makeover for Maps | NY Times | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
Some graphic designers are trying to improve presentation of information using video and color rather than simple bar charts and graphs.
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