The specification is probably the easiest section of a design project, if all the research has been carried out. The specification draws on the information collected and presented during the research section. The specification is a number of straightforward statements, made clearly outlining the nature of the project to be designed and manufactured. If the research section has not been completed fully, the specification will also be lacking.
Participatory public data infrastructure Data infrastructure infrastructure. It provides the shared set of physical and organizational arrangements upon which everyday life is built.
The notion of infrastructure is central to conventional imaginations of the smart city. Fibre-optic cables, wireless access points, cameras, control systems, and sensors embedded in just about anything, constitute the digital infrastructure that feed into new, more automated, organizational processes.
These in turn direct the operation of existing physical infrastructures for transportation, the distribution of water and power, and the provision of city services.
However, between the physical and the organizational lies another form of infrastructure: That said, It is by being rendered as structured data that the information from the myriad sensors of the smart city, or the submissions by hundreds of citizens through reporting portals, are turned into management information, and fed into human or machine based decision-making, and back into the actions of actuators within the city.
Seen as a set of physical or digital artifacts, the data infrastructure involves ETL Extract, Transform, Load processes, APIs Application Programming Interfacesdatabases and data warehouses, stored queries and dashboards, schema, codelists and standards.
For example, you may only really pay attention to the shape and structure of the road network when your planned route is blocked…. Public data infrastructure There can be public data without a coherent public data infrastructure. Datasets may exist, but are disconnected.
Extracts of data may even have come to be published online in how to write a gcse design specification sheet portals in response to transparency edicts — but it exists as islands of data, published in different formats and structures, without any attention to interoperability.
Against this background, initiatives to construct public data infrastructure have sought to introduce shared technology, standards and practices that provide access to a more coherent collection of data generated by, and focusing on, the public tasks of government.
In cities, similar processes of infrastructure building, around shared services, systems and standards are taking place. The creation of these data infrastructures can clearly have significant benefits for both citizens and government. For example, instead of citizens having to share the same information with multiple services, often in subtly different ways, through a functioning data infrastructure governments can pick up and share information between services, and can provide a more joined up experience of interacting with the state.
By sharing common codelists, registers and datasets, agencies can end duplication of effort, and increase their intelligence, drawing more effectively on the data that the state has collected. However, at the same time, these data infrastructures tend to have a particularly centralizing effect.
Whereas a single agency maintaining their own dataset has the freedom to add in data fields, or to restructure their working processes, in order to meet a particular local need — when that data is managed as part of a centralized infrastructure, their ability to influence change in the way data is managed will be constrained both by the technical design and the institutional and funding arrangements of the data infrastructure.
A more responsive government is not only about better intelligence at the center, it is also about autonomy at the edges, and this is something that data infrastructures need to be explicitly designed to enable, and something that they are generally not oriented towards.
There were questions of how the network should balance the needs of the majority, with road access for those on the fringes of the Kingdom, and how the infrastructure should be funded. Jo uses this as an analogy for debates over modern Internet infrastructures, but it can be equally applied to explore questions around an equally intangible public data infrastructure.
If you build roads to connect the largest cities, but leave out a smaller town, the relative access of people in that town to services, trade and wider society is diminished. In the same way, if your data infrastructure lack the categories to describe the needs of a particular population, their needs are less likely to be met.
Alongside this tension between centralization and decentralization in data infrastructures, I also want to draw attention to another important aspect of public data infrastructures.
That is the issue of ownership and access. Increasingly public data infrastructures may rely upon stocks and flows of data that are not publicly owned. In the United Kingdom, for example, the Postal Address File, which is the basis of any addressing service, was one of the assets transferred to the private sector when Royal Mail was sold off.
The Ordnance Survey retains ownership and management of the Unique Property Reference Number UPRNa central part of the data infrastructure for local public service delivery, yet access to this is heavily restricted, and complex agreements govern the ability of even the public sector to use it.
Whilst open data advocacy has secured substantially increased access to many publicly owned datasets in recent years, when the datasets the state is using are privately owned in the first place, and only licensed to the state, the potential scope for public re-use and scrutiny of the data, and scrutiny of the policy made on the basis of it, is substantially limited.
In the case of smart cities, I suspect this concern is likely to be particularly significant. Take transit data for example: Whilst the data shared reveals something of travel times, the limited granularity rendered it practically useless for planning purposes, and Boston turned to senate regulations to try and secure improved data 9.Welcome To Overton Grange School.
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Find all the information for your next step. In a few weeks time (October 12th) I’m going to be leaving Open Data Services Co-op and starting a short career-break of sorts: returning to my research roots, spending some time exploring possible areas of future focus, and generally taking a bit of time out..
I’ll be leaving projects in capable hands, with colleagues at Open Data Services continuing to work on Open Contracting.
A specification is a list of goals that the final design must achieve. Specifications are an important part of designing because they provide a check list against which you can review your ideas as you are working.