Jim Thatcher, Assistant Professor, Division of Urban Studies, University of Washington – Tacoma, firstname.lastname@example.org, jimthatcher.net
Data suffuses society. The era of ‘big data’ marks a surge of new information to be captured, analyzed, and exchanged. Data comes as deluge: continual, growing streams of information are generated at such rates as to make efforts for their storage and analysis sisyphian feats of engineering. For individuals, data shapes how they come to know and experience the world, tailoring the very paths they take to their quantified representation of self; for society, data plays a role in redefining efficient production, security and privacy discourses, the role of the state, and scientific knowledge itself. In cities, this new era fosters “smart” design and growth discourses that fetishize the role of data in urban life, design, and planning. However, despite all that data has come to influence, represent, enable, and constrain, the provenance of data is often left unexplored in its myriad uses.