Title: Mismatches and Seams in Civic Data Infrastructure
Abstract: Municipal governments are increasingly collecting and using data for decision-making and service provisioning. At the same time, community groups and civic organizations are also increasingly engaged in data collection and use as they mobilize to address local issues – including economic development, mobility, and public health. This common site of data production and use is a potential site of civic collaboration among formal and informal organizations. While there is a desire to deploy integrative computing platforms that bring data and people together in collaboration to address issues of public concern, there are gaps to enabling collaboration that are not simply impediments to integration and coordination, but meaningful seams necessary for productive civic friction. In this talk I will present a recent collaborative effort to develop data resources to address food security in a rural town in Georgia. The project leveraged community-facing features of the city's geospatial management platform and provides a perspective on the intersection of organizational boundaries and technology affordances. From this we can see the breakdowns of a unified platform and beginning of opportunities for new systems that treat these seams as a resource for design.
Bio: Dr. Christopher Le Dantec is an Associate Professor with appoitments in the School of Interactive Computing and the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His research is focused on the area of digital civics where he works with a range of community-based partners to explore new forms of civic participation through community-centered design inquiry at the intersection of participatory design, digital democracy, and smart cities. He is the author of Designing Publics (2016, MIT Press).