What do data portals do? This initiative explores digital methods and approaches for studying data portals as online devices.
This includes gathering an international research group on data portal studies, as well as developing a prototype tool and open source software library for repurposing data portal metadata in order to examine public sector datafication and the configuration of portals as sites of participation around public data.
A new challenge that the COVID-19 pandemic has ignited is testing – and not testing – for the virus, as a central concern among the population. Much of the debate has focused on the merits of different types of tests and testing infrastructures (PCR; anti-body; symptom-based testing through apps). However, equally remarkable about COVID testing is the locations in which it takes place and is expected to place, in everyday places beyond the laboratory, like the home, and the parking lots of superstores.
This two-day online workshop consisted of conducting a collaborative analysis of Twitter data relating to COVID-19 in order to facilitate a dialogue about the social life of testing, across expert – lay distinctions. The aim was to draw out from Twitter reporting on COVID-19 testing a social understanding of COVID-19 testing as everyday situation, and, potentially, as tests of society. We are also interested in developing and documenting approaches to curating and infrastructuring environments for collaborative interpretative data analysis, given the unusually large Twitter datasets that have been gathered across our institutions.
Responding to the World Health Organisation’s warning that misinformation related to COVID-19 constitutes an “infodemic,” this project studies conspiracy theories as a particularly seductive kind of misinformation.
Infodemic: Combatting COVID-19 Conspiracy Theories is using methods from digital humanities and cultural studies to understand how and why conspiracy narratives circulate in different platforms and online spaces during the crisis.
The methodologies include analysing the historical roots of the conspiracy theories now circulating, how they have mutated during the pandemic, and how they contribute to both community and division. The latter practices constitute a foundation for looking at who has been promoting and spreading them, what form they take on the various social media platforms, and why some theories have gained more traction than others. The project will also assess the effectiveness of the varying interventions by social media companies.
“An Atlas of Offshore FDI” explores financial relations between states through the flows of money from foreign direct investment (FDI). Its specificity is the effort to visualize the combinations and modifications of the flows of money for making sense of transnational economic activity as well as visual practices for representing uncertainty. While public data practices often emphasise and value the production of certainty , this project considers what data projects may learn from diverse cultures for visually representing, managing and articulating uncertainty.
It is a research project done in collaboration with the Tax Justice Network, a network of researchers and research centres, and the Public Data Lab. The experimental visual model is designed and developed by DensityDesign Research Lab.
Supported by OrganiCity and developed by the Public Data Lab, SaveOurAir is an exploration of the social and political aspects of “smart cities”. Its specificity is the effort to use digital data to stir (rather than settle) urban debate and to nurture (rather than purify) their multiple attachments.
Focussing on air quality, SaveOurAir explored three ways to make urban data more “local” and “politically relevant” and developed three experiments in data activation.