[iDC] Introduction: Morgan Currie

msmorgancurrie at ucla.edu msmorgancurrie at ucla.edu
Tue Jul 8 23:02:42 UTC 2014

Hi group,

Greetings. I'm a PhD in Information Studies at UCLA, investigating  
open government data - Mayor Garcetti's new initiative in Los Angeles'  
serves as my primary site.

My talk will explore some conceptual tensions found in claims about  
open government data. Open government data draws its ideological  
underpinnings from a variety of sources, ranging from transparency  
laws and e-government to open source cultures and big data projects.  
Such disparate legacies support government data?s various and possibly  
conflicting valuations: as a public good in service of communicative  
democracy, and also as a means to capture commercial value through  
data circulation and reuse.

To explore these tensions I'll look at alliances that form in the goal  
of technical open standards-making. These public-private partnerships  
are particularly evident in the role played by companies such as  
Socrata, the go-to application for open data portals, and Google, with  
its role in creating the open Global Transit Feed Specification for  
public transit data, and the Civic Information API. While  
public-corporate collaboration in creating standards has a long  
history, the rhetoric of open government provides a novel way of  
blurring public, private, and civic interests. This research seeks a  
deeper understanding of some of the private value capture that occurs  
in civic projects operating under the banner of openness.

Looking forward to seeing everyone in November!

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