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RE: Use Case: BetaNYC 3/5

From: Makx Dekkers <mail@makxdekkers.com>
Date: Fri, 7 Mar 2014 12:27:01 +0100
To: "'Public DWBP WG'" <public-dwbp-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <001001cf39f8$2ad2bb80$80783280$@makxdekkers.com>
Ig, Steve,


(cutting out the pics to save space)


Part of this issue of trust/reliability/provenance on the Open Data Web
is solved by the link between URIs and the organisation that is behind
the URIs. In general, people are more likely to use URIs from
organisations they trust; in many activities around Europe, people use
URIs maintained by the Publications Office of the European Union in
their Metadata Registry (http://publications.europa.eu/mdr/authority/).
Another example is the recommendation in DCAT to use URIs for languages
(http://www.w3.org/TR/vocab-dcat/#Property:dataset_language) maintained
by the Library of Congress, the maintenance agency for ISO639-2. Those
are organisations that a lot of people would trust.


However, I am not sure whether you can codify trust in absolute terms.
It mostly depends who you are and what you’re trying to achieve. As part
of the Best Practice that we’re working on, I think the best we can do
is to outline the aspects or criteria someone may want to consider, such
as who maintains the URIs, do they have a documented governance and
change management process, do they have an explicit persistence policy,
who else is using those URIs, how much does your application/system
relies on the accuracy and 24/7 availability of the data etc.


Political issues too. Does a government agency in country A trust URIs
maintained by a government agency in country B?






From: Ig Ibert Bittencourt [mailto:ig.ibert@gmail.com] 
Sent: Friday, March 07, 2014 11:19 AM
To: Steven Adler
Cc: Public DWBP WG
Subject: Re: Use Case: BetaNYC 3/5


Hi Steve,


Thank you for sharing with us about these hackathons.


With regards the DBpedia data, although WayCount went one step further
than Palo Alto about open data, I think the problem is the same. Perhaps
they don't know about the vocabs and how to use them. 


Don't you think we should create some use cases focused on the usage of





2014-03-06 12:51 GMT-03:00 Steven Adler <adler1@us.ibm.com
<mailto:adler1@us.ibm.com> >:

Last night, I attended another BetaNYC Hackathon in Brooklyn, where I
met another group of passionate citizens developing, and learning to
develop, fascinating apps for Smarter Cities.  This week we were about
15 people in the room, and we started with a lightning round of "what
are you working on" descriptions from project leads.  There were only
three people in the room who had participated in the hackathon the week
prior, and this is pretty normal.  BetaNYC has 1600 developers
registered in their network and every week coders rotate in and out of
meetups and projects in an endless and unplanned cycle that continuously
inspires creativity and motivation by showcasing new projects. 

The first project we heard about came from a local nonprofit called
<http://tomorrow-lab.com/> Tomorrow Lab, who have designed hardware that
measures how many bikes travel on streets they measure.  It uses simple
hardware and open source software that connects two sensors with a
pneumatic tube that measures impressions for weight and axel distance
that differentiates between bikes and cars.  Its called WayCount.  The
text below is from their website.  In the room we discussed how WayCount
data could be combined with NYPD crash reports to more accurately
identify the spots in NYC where bike accidents per bike numbers occur
and identify ways to remediate. 

WayCount is a platform for crowd-sourcing massive amounts of near
real-time automobile and bicycle traffic data from a nodal network of
inexpensive hardware devices.   For the first time ever, you can gather
accurate volume, rate, and speed measurements of automobiles and
bicycles, then easily upload and map the information to a central online
database.  The WayCount device works like other traffic counters, but
has two key differences: lower cost and open data. At 1/5th price of the
least expensive comparible product, WayCount is affordable. The WayCount
Data Uploader allows you to seamlessly upload and map your latest
traffic count data, making it instantly available to anyone online. 

Collectively, the WayCount user community has the potential to build a
rich repository of traffic count data for bike paths, city alley ways,
neighborhood streets, and busy boulevards from around the world. With a
better understanding of automobile and bicycle ridership patterns, we
can inform the design of better cities and towns. 

The WayCount platform is an important addition to the process of
measuring the impact of transportation design, and creating livable
streets by adding bicycle lanes, public spaces, and developing smart
transportation management systems. By creating open-data, we can
increase governmental transparency, and provide constituencies with the
essential data they need to advocate for rational and necessary
improvements to the design, maintenance, and policy of transportation

The hardware and software of the WayCount device and website were
designed and engineered by Tomorrow Lab. 

WayCount devices are currently for sale on the website,
<http://waycount.com/> WayCount.com 

We also discussed some ideas to provide policy makers with better
sources of Open Data to guide policy discussions, and then broke up into
four groups focusing on different projects.  One group discussed how to
save the New York Library on 42nd Street from the imminent
transformation of its main reading room and function as a lending
library.  Another group scraped web pages for NYPD crash data for an app
comparing accident rates across the 5 boroughs.  Some people just spent
time talking about who they are and what they want to work on, what they
want to learn, and how to get more involved. 

I spent an hour with a young programmer who had worked on the NYC
Property Tax Map I shared with you last week.  He showed me a Chrome
Plugin he is working on that provides data about leading politicians
whenever their names are mentioned on a webpage.  It is called Data
Explorer for US Politics and it provides some nifty data on things like
campaign contributions compared to committee assignments.   

I asked him where he got his data and he showed me
<http://dbpedia.org/About> DBpedia, which "is a crowd-sourced community
effort to extract structured information from  <http://wikipedia.org/>
Wikipedia and make this information available on the Web. DBpedia allows
you to ask sophisticated queries against Wikipedia, and to link the
different data sets on the Web to Wikipedia data. We hope that this work
will make it easier for the huge amount of information in Wikipedia to
be used in some new interesting ways. Furthermore, it might inspire new
mechanisms for navigating, linking, and improving the encyclopedia
itself. " 

Then I asked him how he knows that DBpedia data is accurate and reliable
and he just looked at me.  "It's on the internet..."  Yeah, and so where
weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.  But they were only on the internet
and never in Iraq.  And herein lies a huge problem about Open Data on
the Web; there is no corroboration of fact, no metadata describing where
it came from, how it was derived, calculated, presented.  No one attests
to its veracity, yet we all use it on faith which just ain't good

This is why we have the  <https://www.w3.org/2013/dwbp/wiki/Main_Page>
W3C Data on the Web Best Practices Working Group - to create new
vocabulary and metadata standards that attach citations and lineage,
attestations and data quality metrics to Open Data so that everyone can
understand where it came from, how much to trust it, and even how to
improve it. 

At the end of the evening, we also discussed IBM Smarter Cities, the
Portland System Dynamics Demo, and the possibility of hosting a BetaNYC
meetup at IBM on 590 Madison Avenue.  It was a fascinating evening and I
encourage all to check out the links provided in this writeup and get
out and join a meetup near you.   

Talk to you tomorrow.

Best Regards,


Motto: "Do First, Think, Do it Again"




Ig Ibert Bittencourt

Professor Adjunto III - Universidade Federal de Alagoas (UFAL)

Vice-Coordenador da Comissão Especial de Informática na Educação

Líder do Centro de Excelência em Tecnologias Sociais

Co-fundador da Startup MeuTutor Soluções Educacionais LTDA.
Received on Friday, 7 March 2014 11:27:37 UTC

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