New study will develop vocabulary for citizen-generated data methodology

New study will develop vocabulary for citizen-generated data methodology

Global non-profit organisation Open Knowledge International is to launch a new research project to develop frameworks and vocabulary for the use of citizen-generated data.

Open Knowledge International will partner with researchers at King’s College London and the Public Data Lab to undertake a broad-ranging study of citizen-generated data and develop a working vocabulary for data methodologies.

As the role of data in smart cities continues to expand, opportunities to use the data created by citizens to improve quality of life are also increasing, but those undertaking such projects need guidance to ensure they use data to its full potential. What’s more, a standardised vocabulary covering the collection of citizen-generated data will mean these methods can be standardised across Europe, further expanding the potential benefits.

How will the study proceed in preparing a vocabulary for citizens’ data?

The research project will gather together existing information which deals with citizen-generated data, and use this to solicit input and ideas on which aspects of this data to concentrate on. In addition, researchers will undertake new empirical research to explore the perspectives of stakeholders in citizen data.

Current initiatives to use such data are sometimes hampered by the different media and technologies used to collect data, the ways in which stakeholders are engaged with the data, or with partners from government or business, or how activities are governed, and developing common methodology and vocabulary could address this and facilitate greater collaboration.

What do the researchers hope to achieve?

The main outcomes of the research will be to define and highlight clear distinctions between different methodologies used to gather citizen-generated data, and also shed light on the ways that people think about data.

Writing in a blog post on behalf of Open Knowledge International, research co-ordinator Danny Lämmerhirt explained the organisation’s aim: “We hope that such a vocabulary can help governments and international organisations attend to the benefits and pitfalls of citizen-generated data in a more nuanced way and will help them engage with citizen-generated data more strategically.”


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