Building the YouTube of data, Big Data and Global Development and Data Resources #datadigest

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Some great data resources are featured this week, along with telling insight on the use of big data for global development and the use of open data by citizens.


Data use by Citizens

Open data and the 'average' citizen (building the YouTube of data)

World Bank Finances is trying to provide nontechnical users with tools that help them slice and dice the data on their site, visualize it, and then either save it on the site so other people can access them or share it through social networking tools like Facebook and Twitter. While stating that it is still too early to say how successful this has been they give some examples of how this has worked and discuss improvements needed.


Big Data and Global Development

Jungle light speed: Tracking Epidemics with Natural Language Processing and Crowdsourcing

In this post Robert Munro discusses his views on the need to use data in a way that preserves individual rights. He opposes being more open with data about at-risk individuals and laments that his UN Assembly address on “Big Data and Global Development” has been widely misinterpreted. He says that open-data-idealists wrongly and dangerously believe that once information is shared more widely problems will be solved. He talks about how EpidemicIQ, implemented adaptive machine-learning models that could detect information about disease outbreaks in dozens of languages and used crowdsourced workers when needed. He says while this contrasts with other data collection methods used by the open data community it was better able to identify outbreaks.


Data Resources

How Non-Profits and Think Tanks Are Pushing Government to Better Leverage Data

This post gives examples of how non-profits, foundations and university communities are advocating for evidence-based decision-making, through sponsoring supporting initiatives, and using different tools and techniques as governments open up their data.  


Public Data

New marketplaces that collect public and private datasets and enable visitors to buy or freely download them are continually being created. Big Data Startups lists and describes some that are available.


A big collection of sites and services for accessing data

The Visualising Data blog has provided a list of data providers. Some of these organisations provide their own data, others give access to curated data collections, offer access under the Open Data movement or provide software/Data-as-a-Service platforms.