Data Activism is a new an emerging trend with designers, developers and artist utilizing technology to help society understand and address the issues of our times.
The new U.S. Administration has established initiatives to make government data available to the public. This is converging with the growing number of developers and designers that are familiar with mash-up’s and data visualization technologies. The convergence of these trends create the ability for developers, designers and artist to create apps, sites and art that educate and provide transparency to the government.
The Open Government Directive is a memo sent by the White House on December 8th, 2009 directs federal agencies to:
- Publish Government Information Online
- Improve the Quality of Government Information
- Create and Institutionalize a Culture of Open Government
- Create an Enabling Policy Framework for Open Government
Each of these are follow with specific actions that must start to show results in the next couple of months. The main hub for this information will be Data.gov, providing Federal data sets, and links to State and local efforts as well.
This is amazing progress for the government that will bring both innovation and efficiency. Possibilities will be opened up as great designers get creative on representing the governments data. The government agencies will be pressured to improve as their performance becomes public knowledge. All of this is a win for Americans with more services, useful information and government efficiency.
Everyone can participate by using the data, giving feedback, building visualizations, building reports, etc. You can get involved by yourself, or join a team of like minded individuals. What are you waiting for?
- I found a group local to me on the list of Sunlight Labs Great American Hackathon
- Join the dialog and vote on suggested improvements
- Code for America
- A terrific list of apps developed for New York City: NYCbigapps.com
- If you want to be inspired to make a difference using data visualization view this Chris Jordan video.
- Data Visualization to fight Climate Change
- Visualization of what governments spend their money on
- Great Infographics from Good Magazine (on Flickr)
If you have other resources or examples you recommend, add them as comments and I will update this article.