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Doing Participation with Data

Doing Participation with Data

Slides from talk on "Doing Participation with Data? Configuring Engagement in Open Data, Data Activism and Data Journalism Projects" at Media and Publics Conference, Roskilde University, 28-29th April 2022.

Jonathan Gray

April 28, 2022
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  1. Media and Publics Conference, Roskilde University, 28-29th April 2022


    Jonathan Gray / King’s College London / @jwyg / jonathangray.org
    Doing participation with data?
    Configuring engagement in open data,
    data activism and data journalism projects

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  2. What does it mean to talk of


    participation with data?

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  3. “Data, in short, is the new
    means to remake the world in
    capital’s image.”

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  4. “Alongside these top-down efforts,
    open data movements also included
    bottom-up participation”

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  5. “A key question for the data-driven age
    then is how do we ensure that the
    deployment of digital technologies is
    truly citizen-centric? That they are
    created and used in the best interests
    of citizens? That citizens are actively
    involved in decision-making concerning
    their design and deployment?”

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  6. “data for co-liberation enables
    the participation of many
    actors and agents”

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  7. “What kinds of publics does data
    assemble, which kinds of
    capacities does it support, what
    kinds of politics does it enact
    and what kinds of participation
    does it engender?”

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  8. Exploring these questions with material

    from Data Worlds book (MIT Press)…

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  9. Table of Contents


    Introduction: Making Data Public, Making Public Data


    1. Origin Stories and Conventions of Open Data


    2. Ways of Seeing, Knowing and Being with Data


    3. Doing Participation with Data


    4. Coordinating Data Collectives and Transnational Data Worldmaking


    5. Missing Data and Making Data: Data Infrastructural Interventions


    6. Doing Data Differently? Towards a Critical Data Practice


    Conclusion: Recomposing Data Worlds

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  10. Participation from participare:


    to take part in, to be a part of

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  11. Pluralising, situating and rethinking


    what it means to take part with data

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  12. Many different kinds of practices and formats:
    social media engagement, hackdays, interactive
    websites, co-design, prototyping, platforms,
    portals, indexes, labs, crowdsourcing, citizen
    generated data, community data infrastructures…

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  13. Both for problematising participation with data,

    as well as for considering how it might be done differently

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  14. 1. Invitations to take part with data


    2. Invitations to make with data


    3. Invitations to make data

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  15. 1. Invitations to take part with data


    2. Invitations to make with data


    3. Invitations to make data

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  16. “informational citizen”:

    “the one in need of information in order to
    adequately perform his role of opinionated,
    decision-making subject” (Marres, 2012)

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  17. Information, informare:


    to train, instruct, educate; to shape, give form to

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  18. Taking part with official forming, shaping

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  19. “your name”


    “your location”


    “your politician”


    “your interests”


    “your email”
    Democratic


    ambiance and

    personalising


    parliament
    (informing you)

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  20. (informing you


    everywhere)

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  21. (you informing)

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  22. Invitations to investigate

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  23. Querying publics

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  24. Tailoring data for everyday situations

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  25. Infrastructuring
    the publicly
    accessible toilet

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  26. Action Object
    Find a…
    bicycle, toilet, school, charging station, nursery, polling station, defibrillator, property,
    politician, public tender that you can bid for, job, missing dog, legal document,
    kindergarten, vegan or vegetarian restaurant, open workspace, bus, route, parking space,
    playground, fire station, siren, neighbourhood, park, road, waterway, greenway, trail, spot,
    unit, race, monumental tree, recycling centre, religious holiday…
    Adopt a…
    fire hydrant, drain, soldier, street, highway, block, lot, stream, river, tree, siren, sidewalk,
    park …
    Monitor / check / track /
    assess…
    tap water quality, UV exposure, air quality, quality of life, noise levels, traffic, property
    prices, amount of green space, safety, shops and services, traffic ticket status, spread of
    COVID-19, swimming pool water quality, …
    Be notified of…
    Northern Lights, International Space Station, your political representative speaking,
    planning application in your area, changes in local air quality, when your allergies might
    get worse, price of crops change, checking into a restaurant at risk of being closed for
    health code violations, …

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  27. Project Type Description
    Adopt-a-Hydrant
    (Boston)
    Original “Claim responsibility for shoveling out a fire hydrant after it snows.”
    Adopt-a-Hydrant
    (Madison)
    Fork “encourages citizen engagement by letting individuals sign up as a
    caregiver for a fire hydrant when the snow storms hit”
    Adopt-A-Drain
    (Savannah)
    Inspired by “Become a #DrainWarrior and adopt a storm drain in your
    neighbourhood”
    Adopt a Trash Can Fork “A web application that allows citizens to "adopt" civic
    infrastructure, such as trash cans that need to be emptied
    regularly.”
    Pledge to Donate Fork “This Holiday Season and beyond, consider pledging to donate
    your Food, Toys or even just your time to one of these many Food
    & Toy drives in and around Ventura County”
    Adopt-a-Sidewalk Fork “Chicago-based website for collecting and displaying resident
    submissions around snow emergencies.”
    Adopt-a-Siren
    Honolulu
    Used code “You agree to listen for the siren test and report any problems.”
    Adopt a Drain
    Oakland
    Used code “Claim responsibility for clearing a storm drain entrance and
    reporting any problems.”
    Adopt a Drain SF Used code “By pledging to keep your drain free of leaves and debris, you are
    joining your neighbors in helping to protect the environment,
    manage stormwater, and minimize flooding.”
    Adopt-a-Tree
    Minneapolis
    Used code “Beautify your street by watering a tree.”
    Adopt a Drain
    Durham
    Inspired by “Prevent storm drain pollution by clearing leaves, dirt, litter, and
    other debris around city storm drains.”
    Adopt-a-Hydrant
    (ESRI), Brooklyn
    Park, MN
    Inspired by “Winters are cold and snowy in Brooklyn Park. Fire fighters need
    quick access to hydrants, which means they need to be clear of
    snow and ice. You can keep yourself, your house, and your
    neighbors safe by adopting a hydrant today! Find a hydrant (or
    two) near your house, work, or school, and click on it to adopt it!”
    Hydrant Hero Inspired by “An interactive map created to engage the public to adopt a
    hydrant in their neighborhood and keep it clear of snow during the
    winter.”
    Adopt-a-Hydrant as open source “adopt an anything app”.

    Attempts to script care and responsibility.

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  28. 1. Invitations to take part with data


    2. Invitations to make with data


    3. Invitations to make data

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  29. Data portals as aspirational
    sites of data innovation –
    between institutional
    datafication and broader
    societal participation

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  30. Formats for making with data…


    Hackdays


    Datathons


    Datapalooza


    Competitions


    Challenges


    Fellowships

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  31. Ideation and prototyping to
    make things doable with data.

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  32. Displaying the potential of data.

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  33. Making with data as issue exploration.

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  34. 1. Invitations to take part with data


    2. Invitations to make with data


    3. Invitations to make data

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  35. “Citizen-generated data”
    “Advancing sustainability together?” report

    https://publicdatalab.org/projects/citizen-generated-data/

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  36. Diagramming participation with
    citizen generated data
    “Levels of participation and engagement in citizen science
    projects” (Assumpção et al, 2018, adapted from Haklay, 2013)


    “Selected studies represented in the typology of VGI
    (volunteered geographic information)” (Assumpção et al, 2018)


    “Types of crowdsourced geographic information from the review characterized by


    framework/non-framework and active/passive” (See et al, 2016)

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  37. Adding, mapping, layering,

    interpreting, translating…

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  38. Community spreadsheeting

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  39. Organising data ontologies…

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  40. 1. Invitations to take part with data


    2. Invitations to make with data


    3. Invitations to make data

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  41. One crucial aspect of the politics of inviting
    participation with data is how tensions are
    navigated and negotiated

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  42. For whom and what will these arrangements not work?


    Who and what else is taking part with data?


    Which forms of involvement do not fit?


    What cannot be made with data?


    What cannot be made into data?


    Who and what is missing?

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  43. Doing participation with data differently?

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  44. The uses of not


    Thirty spokes

    meet in a hub.

    Where the wheel isn’t

    is where it’s useful.


    Hollowed out,

    clay makes a pot.

    Where the pot’s not

    is where it’s useful.


    Cut doors and windows

    to make a room.

    Where the room isn’t,

    there’s room for you.


    So the pro
    fi
    t in what is

    is in the use of what isn’t.

    - Ursula Le Guin’s edition

    of the Tao Te Ching

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