The Data Revolution: Big Data, Open Data, Data Infrastructures and Their Consequences

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SAGE, Aug 18, 2014 - Social Science - 240 pages
"Carefully distinguishing between big data and open data, and exploring various data infrastructures, Kitchin vividly illustrates how the data landscape is rapidly changing and calls for a revolution in how we think about data."
- Evelyn Ruppert, Goldsmiths, University of London

"Deconstructs the hype around the ‘data revolution’ to carefully guide us through the histories and the futures of ‘big data.’ The book skilfully engages with debates from across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences in order to produce a critical account of how data are enmeshed into enormous social, economic, and political changes that are taking place."
- Mark Graham, University of Oxford

Traditionally, data has been a scarce commodity which, given its value, has been either jealously guarded or expensively traded. In recent years, technological developments and political lobbying have turned this position on its head. Data now flow as a deep and wide torrent, are low in cost and supported by robust infrastructures, and are increasingly open and accessible.

A data revolution is underway, one that is already reshaping how knowledge is produced, business conducted, and governance enacted, as well as raising many questions concerning surveillance, privacy, security, profiling, social sorting, and intellectual property rights.

In contrast to the hype and hubris of much media and business coverage, The Data Revolution provides a synoptic and critical analysis of the emerging data landscape. Accessible in style, the book provides:
  • A synoptic overview of big data, open data and data infrastructures
  • An introduction to thinking conceptually about data, data infrastructures, data analytics and data markets
  • Acritical discussion of the technical shortcomings and the social, political and ethical consequences of the data revolution
  • An analysis of the implications of the data revolution to academic, business and government practices
 

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Contents

Data Analytics
The Governmental and Business Rationale for Big Data
The Reframing of Science Social Science and Humanities Research
Technical and Organisational Issues
Ethical Political Social and Legal Concerns
Making Sense of the Data Revolution
References
Index

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About the author (2014)

Rob Kitchin is a professor and ERC Advanced Investigator in the National Institute of Regional and Spatial Analysis at the National University of Ireland Maynooth, for which he was director between 2002 and 2013. He has published widely across the social sciences, including 23 books and 140 articles and book chapters. He is editor of the international journals, Progress in Human Geography and Dialogues in Human Geography, and for eleven years was the editor of Social and Cultural Geography. He was the editor-in-chief of the 12 volume, International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, and edits two book series, Irish Society and Key Concepts in Geography. He is currently a PI on the Programmable City project, the Digital Repository of Ireland, and the All-Island Research Observatory.

He has delivered over 100 invited talks at conferences and universities and his research has been cited over 600 times in local, national and international media. His book ‘Code/Space’ (with Martin Dodge) won the Association of American Geographers ‘Meridian Book Award’ for the outstanding book in the discipline in 2011 and a ‘CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title 2011’ award from the American Library Association. He was the 2013 recipient of the Royal Irish Academy's Gold Medal for the Social Sciences.

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