Abstract: Evidence informed decision making, participatory public policy, government transparency and accountability, sustainable development, and data driven journalism were the initial drivers of making public data accessible. The access work of geomaticians, researchers, librarians, community developers and journalists has recently been recast as open data that includes a different set of actors. As open data matures as a practice, its principles, definitions and guidelines have been transformed into national performance indicators such as indexes, barometers, ratings and score cards; the private sector such as Gartner, McKinsey, and Deloitte are touting open data’s innovation and business opportunities; while smart city initiatives offer tools and expertise to help government sense, monitor, measure and evaluate their cities. Open data today seems to have evolved far from its original ideals, even with civil society players such as Markets for Good, Sunlight Foundation, Open Knowledge Foundation, Code for America, and many others advocating for more social approaches. This talk proposes an assemblage approach to understanding open data and provides a genealogy of its development in different contexts and places.
Bio: Tracey P. Lauriault is a Programmable City Project Postdoctoral Researcher focussing on How are digital data generated and processed about cities and their citizens? She arrives from Canada where she was a researcher with the Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre, at Carleton University, where she investigated Data, Infrastructures and Geographical Imaginations, spatial data infrastructures, open data and the preservation of and access to research and geomatics data; legal and policy issues associated with geospatial, administrative and civil society data; and cybercartography. She is a a member of the international Research Data Alliance Legal (RDA) Interoperability Working Group, the Natural Resources Canada Roundtable on Geomatics Legal and Policy Interest Group. She is also actively engaged in public policy research as it pertains to open data and their related infrastructures.