Many cities in the United States use civic technologies like 311 systems as part of their public service systems for monitoring non-emergency civic issues. These systems have enhanced the city's monitoring capability by diversifying communication channels. However, the data created through these systems is often biased because of differences in people's use of technology (i.e., digital divide) and individuals' behavioral patterns in providing types of information to the systems.
The 311 systems that city officials currently deploy can efficiently detect non-emergency civic issues such as potholes and trash. From a socio-technical perspective, residents can re-appropriate the technology for their own purpose adding new capacities and affordances not initially intended. For example, when Hurricane Irma hit Miami in 2017, residents used 311 systems to report disaster-related issues, which led city officials to adapt the system by creating a new category.
Urban renewal was a project of the American government that aimed to reconstruct poor urban neighborhoods. Because community-level data that shows the underlying mechanisms of urban renewal has not been curated in a systematic way, due to the complexity and volume of the relevant archival collections, we aim to digitally curate property acquisition documents from the urban renewal projects that affected the Southside neighborhood of the city of Asheville, North Carolina, in the form of a map-based, interactive web application. This paper reports early findings from interviews.
While civic technologies for public issues and services such as 311 systems are widely adopted in many U.S. cities, the impact of the emerging civic technologies and their datalevel dynamics are unclear. Because the provision patterns of civic issues to technological systems are different across neighborhoods and populations, it is difficult for city officials to understand whether the provided data itself reflects civic issues. Also, the disparities in the information provided to civic technologies in different neighborhoods may exacerbate the existing inequality.
To understand issues about information accessibility within communities, research studies have examined human, social, and technical factors by taking a sociotechnical view. While this view provides a profound understanding of how people seek, use, and access information, this approach tends to overlook the impact of the larger structures of information landscapes that constantly shape peoples access to information.
We describe computational treatments of archival collections through a case study of World War II Japanese-American Incarceration Camps. Camp staff and police officers compiled so-called "internal security" reports relating to alleged cases of "disorderly conduct, assault, theft, loss of property, and accidents" in the camps, and an index to these reports comprising over 25,000 index cards to the reports. The sheer size of these collections is pushing archivists and researchers to consider new forms of processing for collections at scale.
Today's digital revolution is fostering remarkable innovations. The landscape of innovation is rapidly changing and thus difficult to navigate or study. Understanding broader participation in innovation requires large datasets on the innovation participants and their activities. As organizational and industry boundaries become fuzzy in the digitized world, small data analysis cannot fully explain how boundaries shift and evolve. Open innovation leads to overlapping roles of designer and user, making it inadequate to examine innovation development and adoption separately.
"Multi-scale mass-deployable cooperative robots are a next-generation robotics paradigm where a large number of robots that vary in size cooperate in a hierarchical fashion to collect information in various environments. While this paradigm can exhibit the effective solution for exploration of the wide area consisting of various types of terrain, its technical maturity is still in its infant stage and many technical hurdles should be resolved to realize this paradigm." (Choo et al., 2013)
This research will develop a foundational tool for understanding how civic technologies are used and how information inequalities manifest in a city. User data from new civic technologies that reveal inequalities in the information environments of citizens has only recently become available. Since a large portion of data is demographically or geospatially biased due to varying human-data relationships, computational social scientists have used data modeling and algorithmic techniques to adjust the data and remove biases during data-processing.
Urban renewal was a national initiative from the 1960s through 70s aimed at improving so-called “blighted” areas, and resulted in the displacement of many vibrant communities. While the underlying mechanisms of urban renewal have been examined, there have been very few data-driven, evidence-based studies that take into account the histories and interests of former residents. The “Human Face of Big Data” project started as a digital curation effort to design and develop a web-based, big data platform that provides insights and analytics into the mechanisms of this process.