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WeGov

Gov'ts Hoarding Data Lose Out On Potential Revenue

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, January 21 2014

Screenshot of the gRoads Global Map

Open data is all the rage these days, but many governments are still reluctant to release geospatial data, perhaps because of the impulse to try and recoup some of the high costs of collecting it. However, experts say that this is stifling innovation and damming potential revenue streams.

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WeGov

Finding Names of the Dead in Pakistan's Drone War

BY Naheed Mustafa | Thursday, March 7 2013

Dronestagram of North Waziristan, following a January 3 drone strike that killed 3-4 people.

America's secret drone campaign in Pakistan's remote tribal areas is meant to target militants, but frequently kills civilian bystanders as well. The White House argues that the campaign is a necessary and effective means of fighting terror, while watchdog groups struggle to learn more about how and why American intelligence officials kill with "aerial vehicles." But both sides predicate their arguments on one deeply flawed assumption: That we cannot know the names of the dead. Read More

WeGov

A New Map Aims to Show Where the Well Runs Dry and Who's to Blame

BY Julia Wetherell | Friday, February 1 2013

The WRI's Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas.

One out of six people worldwide do not have stable access to safe water sources. With the global population projected to reach 9 billion in the next few decades, the water crisis may soon be named the most pressing issue of the 21st century. A new mapping tool hopes to give a clear picture of worldwide water risk by highlighting the stresses that cause it. Read More

WeGov

Communities in India, Fighting for Rights, Solve a First Problem: Proving They Exist

BY Lisa Goldman | Wednesday, January 9 2013

Chennai women demonstrating for land tenure (courtesy: Transparent Chennai)

Transparent Chennai works to empower city residents by providing them with data and information about the city, where at least 20 percent of the population lives in unrecognized slums. But while e-mapping brings the message home to outside observers, community workers find that other tools are more important for effecting change. Read More

WeGov

Hacking Some Transparency into the Secretive Corridors of the EU Lobbying System

BY Jon Worth | Friday, December 7 2012

At a recent London hackathon organized by the Open Knowledge Foundation, participants looked for ways to make the European Union's complex lobbying system more transparent. Read More

WeGov

In Egypt, Digital Maps Start a Conversation About Harassment that Continues In the Street

BY Lisa Goldman | Friday, November 30 2012

Screenshot from Harassmap.org

Several months before the Egyptian revolution, a group of Cairo-based volunteers launched Harassmap, an Ushahidi-based interactive map that provides a visualization of reported sexual harassment incidents. Two years later, the organization has grown and secured its funding. But what role has mapping played in their community outreach work? Read More

WeGov

Pakistan Considering Bill that Would Ban Independent Mapping Projects

BY Nighat Dad | Wednesday, November 28 2012

The government of Pakistan is about to propose a law that would make it illegal for independent bodies to engage in mapping. The Land Surveying and Mapping Bill 2012, proposed by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), transfers all mapping authority in Pakistan to Survey of Pakistan (SoP), which reports to the MoD and takes its orders from General Head Quarters (GHQ). Read More

WeGov

EU Initiative Will Map Cyber Repression Around the World

BY Lisa Goldman | Thursday, November 8 2012

The EU is about to launch "a global monitoring system that will help chart digital repression by mapping the Internet’s "cyber geography" in near real time," reports Slate. Read More

Mapping New Yorkers' Reports of Hurricane Sandy Damage

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, October 31 2012

The city releases data on 311 calls on its open data portal every afternoon between 2 and 3 p.m. This afternoon, that data release included calls placed Monday and early Tuesday as Hurricane Sandy whipped up floodwaters, shut off power and blew over trees throughout the city. The data paint a sobering picture of the damage. Arranged by complaint type, New Yorkers as of early Tuesday had placed 5,102 reports of damaged trees, warned of malfunctioning traffic signals 1,074 times, notified the city in 642 instances of an overflowing or otherwise broken sewer drain, and complained of broken street lights 325 times. That's just the bulk of 8,564 reports placed between Sunday and Tuesday for which data is available. It's likely that later data releases will raise that number even higher. Read More

From SeeClickFix to Citizinvestor, Five Years of Internet-Enabled Urbanism

BY Cody Lyon | Wednesday, October 17 2012

Can technology help citizens make their cities better? Photo: Myrtle Avenue Partnership

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: In 2007, SeeClickFix drew wide attention for the way it put all a city's civic problems — graffiti, potholes and the like — out in the open for anyone to see. It wasn't the first or only tool to do something like this, but it made people notice what would become the emerging field of civic software. In the five years since, that field has grown and changed. SeeClickFix is still alive and kicking, but now it's joined by a host of companies, platforms and experiments that don't just map problems — they now map solutions. Read More