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Lost Boy

The blog of @ldodds

Published: 2017-02-21T17:54:27Z


Mega-City One: Smart City


“A smart city is an urban development vision to integrate multiple information and communication technology (ICT) and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions in a secure fashion to manage a city’s assets – the city’s assets include, but are not limited to, local departments’ information systems, schools, libraries, transportation systems, hospitals, power plants, water supply networks, […](image)

A river of research, not news


I already hate the phrase “fake news”. We have better words to describe lies, disinformation, propaganda and slander, so lets just use those. While the phrase “fake news” might originally have been used to refer to hoaxes and disinformation, it’s rapidly becoming a meaningless term used to refer to anything you don’t disagree with. Trump’s recent […](image)

Donate to the commons this holiday season


Holiday season is nearly upon us. Donating to a charity is an alternative form of gift giving that shows you care, whilst directing your money towards helping those that need it. There are a lot of great and deserving causes you can support, and I’m certainly not going to tell you where you should donate your money. But I’ve […](image)

The practice of open data


Open data is data that anyone can access, use and share. Open data is the result of several processes. The most obvious one is the release process that results in data being made available for reuse and sharing. But there are other processes that may take place before that open data is made available: collecting […](image)

Discogs: a business based on public domain data


When I’m discussing business models around open data I regularly refer to a few different examples. Not all of these have well developed case studies, so I thought I’d start trying to capture them here. In this first write-up I’m going to look at Discogs. In an attempt to explore a few different aspects of the service […](image)

Checking Fact Checkers


As of last month Google News attempts to highlight fact check articles. Content from fact checking organisations will be tagged so that their contribution to on-line debate can be more clearly identified. I think this is a great move and a first small step towards addressing wider concerns around use of the web for disinformation and […](image)

Elinor Ostrom and data infrastructure


One of the topics that most interests me at the moment is how we design systems and organisations that contribute to the creation and maintenance of the open data commons. This is more than a purely academic interest. If we can understand the characteristics of successful open data projects like Open Street Map or Musicbrainz then […](image)



For the purposes of having something to point to in future, here’s a list of different meanings of “open” that I’ve encountered. XYZ is “open” because: It’s on the web It’s free to use It’s published under an open licence It’s published under a custom licence, which limits some types of use (usually commercial, often everything except […](image)

Current gaps in the open data standards framework


In this post I want to highlight what I think are some fairly large gaps in the standards we have for publishing and consuming data on the web. My purpose for writing these down is to try and fill in gaps in my own knowledge, so leave a comment if you think I’m missing something […](image)

Why are bulk downloads of open data important?


I was really pleased to see that at the GODAN Summit last week the USDA announced the launch of its Branded Food Product Database, providing nutritional information on over 80,000 food products. Product reference data is an area that has been long under-represented in the open data commons, so its great to see data of […](image)