Making open data work for civic advocacy


The value of data in supporting citizen participation in processes of place-making and community building is widely recognised. While the open data movement now permits citizens to acquire governmental data relating to their communities, little to no effort is made to ensure that these datasets are accessible and interpretable by non-professionals. Through a series of community engagements spanning an 18-month period, we co-designed Data:In Place, an open source web tool which supports citizens in accessing, interpreting and making sense of open data. Leveraging visual map-based querying, citizens can access official statistics about their community, interrogate the data, and map their own data sources to create data visualisations. Reflecting on the participatory design process and the designed technology, we provide a framing to make open data work for civic advocacy.

Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction
Aare Puussaar
PhD Student (2017-2020)