Big is beautiful – This week’s data dump

The beautiful world of big data is getting bigger (and brighter) by the day. We take a look at some of the more colourful developments and discussions from the last week.

Big Bang Data

Big data is so big it’s now even got it’s own big museum showBig data is so big it’s now even got it’s own big museum show. Somerset House – home of London Fashion Week and other suitably hip events – plays host to Big Bang Data. The show is the UK’s first major exhibition exploring the big data explosion that’s radically transforming society, culture and politics today. The event opened yesterday and runs until the end of February.

There’s big money in free data

Open data is now revolutionising the worldIn 1983 Ronald Reagan made America’s GPS data open to the world after a Soviet missile brought down a South Korean airliner that had strayed into Soviet airspace. Back then, no one would have guessed the consequences this would have. Open data is now revolutionising the world and number of firms have already grown rich on open data. Zillow, a $5bn property website and Garmin, the $7bn navigation firm, were built on free government data. But small firms, not-for-profits and health providers are just as likely to be the big beneficiaries.

Manchester bags £10m IoT government fund

Manchester is about to get smarter… And talking bus stops and air monitors and a network of censors to track the health of the city. Beating competition from 22 other UK cities, Manchester has won the £10m Internet of Things (IoT) City Demonstrator fund, a government race to better local services using smart technology.

Do we put too much faith in technology?

the importance of human interaction with data to solve our problemsWe know it’s important, but we can’t quite put our finger on how to make the best use of it. That often sums up the sentiment felt towards data by business and governments alike. But maybe because it’s not just about data. Maybe it’s about humans working with that data. This thoughtful piece looks at the importance of human interaction with data to solve our problems.

It really is beautiful, this information

Charting diseases, death and how to build a human, the Information is Beautiful Award winners were announced this week. And while the beauty might only be skin deep, the deep-lying clarity and insight shows the importance data visualisation has in understanding the world around us…

Below are just some of the Gold Award winners:

vaccinesData Visualisation: Vaccines and Infectious Diseases by Dov Friedman and Tynan Debold at The Wall Street Journal

How Ebola Spreads by Lazaro Gamio and Bonnie Berkowitz at The Washington Post

german_unificationData Journalism: German Unification by Christian Bangel, Paul Blickle, Lisa Borgenheimer, Fabian Mohr, Julian Stahnke and Sascha Venohr, published by Zeit Online 

dear_dataDear Data by Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec won both Gold in Data Visualisation Project and the Most Beautiful award. Lupi and Posavec decided to try to get to know each other better by setting up a year-long project in which they would “collect and measure a particular type of data about our lives”, visualise and draw it by hand on a postcard and mail the result to each other. 

Motion Infographics: The Fallen of WW2 by Neil Halloran  

Information is beautiful awards(Click the image to animate the Gif) Mini and Mobile Visualisation: How To Build A Human by Eleanor Lutz 

See the full list of winners

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