Big Data’s Little Secrets (Part 2)

In my previous post I looked at some of the issues affecting the extent to which ‘big data’ gives a reliable picture of the world around us. In this post I want to take you through one of the least sexy—but most important—parts: the data itself. My point, again, is not to suggest that big data is fatally flawed, but to call into question some of the easy assumptions upon which we rely when working with this type of data, and the universality of the conclusions that we can draw from this type of research.

Continue reading

Big Data’s Little Secrets (Part 1)

The term ‘big data’ has been getting a lot of attention recently, some of it very complimentary (see ‘The End of Theory‘), and some of it not so much (see Mark Birkin’s report on a recent AAG session). On one level this is very exciting for me since much of my work with travel and communications data falls loosely under this rubric. But when big data sets are promoted as ‘the answer’ to everything from the next Census to deriving universal laws of human behaviour, it is also time for us to look a little more closely at what big data can actually deliver. Continue reading

Robot Wars: Android Off-line Mapping Face-Off

I’ve got a few trips coming up to places where either: a) I don’t want to use data because it will be expensive (i.e. America), or b) I won’t be able to use data because I will have no reception (i.e. Skye). However, in both cases I would like to be able to use my HTC Desire’s GPS chip and mapping features so that I can find my way around. Continue reading

Design by Committee

A while back I upgraded to an HTC Touch (well, technically a T-Mobile MDA Touch Plus) because I wanted to try out a ‘Smart Phone’ and T-Mobile was willing to let me have it for £15 and helped me to adjust my account so that I get ‘unlimited’ (known is the real world as 1GB) data access for the same price as my existing plan. Plus, the iPhone is only available from O2 here in the UK. Continue reading

Powered by WordPress
Theme: Esquire by Matthew Buchanan.