James Silver has written a nice article entitled “Data -> Information” in the September issue of WIRED. After reading the article I would rather name it “From data to visualization”. Silver explains how people can use raw data available on the web to build useful visualization map. These maps may be useful in different manners.
For example, it can help in disaster recovery situations (Haiti earthquake on January 12th). After the disaster, volunteers have traced road networks on satellite photos. One issue, however, is the access to these maps, which is not always free. This is one of the main point of the article: government should free up raw public data. As said by Tim Berners-Lee:
“Putting government data on the web has been a very exciting journey. We have to keep pushing though.”
If you are interested in these open data sources, you can try the following websites:
- Flight radar 24: flight data with live air traffic
- Asthmapolis: disease-mapping project
- City-Go-Round: 132 mobile apps (e.g. real-time bus update)
To read the full article, go here.