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Open Data for Urban Research

Master Governing the Large Metropolis

Sciences Po, urban school

Academic Year 2020/2021

Instructors

Joël Gombin (Datactivist

Many thanks to Samuel Goëta who taught this class for the pas few years. Previously, this class was taught for 5 years with François Briatte (ESPOL, Université Catholique de Lille) and Samuel Goëta (Datactivist), in coordination with Antoine Jardin (CNRS).

Course Outline

This workshop offers a critical analysis of how urban-level data are produced, interpreted, and, increasingly, released to the public. It was designed specifically for this Masters, alongside the “Advanced Quantitative Methods” course, which enables students to build on their existing statistical training by mixing qualitative and quantitative insights.

According to the Global Open Data Barometer, more than 40 countries across the world have an ambitious open data policy. 22 countries adopted the international open data charter which sets an objective of open data by default. In France, it is mandatory since October 2018 for all public administrations to open their data. More than 4000 local authorities are covered by this law. For students, especially in urban studies, opportunities in this field are twofold: reusing open datasets has become a prerequirement in quantitative and geospatial studies and new open data project manaagers positions open regularly in public and private entities.

At the end of the class, students will:

  • learn the benefits and the principles of open data
  • know how datasets are concretely opened
  • discover how to conduct an open data project
  • understand the process and best practices to reuse open datasets.

Class 1 - Open Data 101 : the origins and principles of a growing movement

Slides: http://datactivist.coop/sciencespo_odur/2020/1/

Date: September 24, 2020 (12:30 - 16:45)

Where? Online

Reading:

Class 2 - The Open Data Lifecycle: how open datasets are opened in the backroom of government administrations?

Slides: http://datactivi.st/sciencespo_odur/2020/2/

Date: October 1st, 2020 (15:30 - 16:45)

Where? TBD

Reading:

Class 3 - The Data Pipeline: the pitfalls of reusing open datasets

Slides: http://datactivi.st/sciencespo_odur/2020/3/

Date: October 8, 2020 (15:30 - 16:45)

Where? TBD

Readings:

References

Books:

Links:

Bibliography

ARTICLES

Davies, Tim. 2010. “Open Data, Democracy and Public Sector Reform. A Look at Open Government Data Use from data.gov.uk.”

Desrosières, Alain. 2014. “Statistics and Social Critique.” Partecipazione e Conflitto 7(2): 348–59.

Didier, Emmanuel. 2017. “The Birth of Information Policing Between Management and Stat-activism.” Annual Review of Sociology 43, forthcoming.

Goëta, Samuel and Davies, Tim. 2016. “The Daily Shaping of State Transparency: Standards, Machine-Readability and the Configuration of Open Government Data Policies,” Science & Technology Studies 29(4).

Goldstein, Harvey. 2014. “Using League Table Rankings in Public Policy Formation: Statistical Issues,” Annual Review of Applied Statistics 1: 385–99.

Hacking, Ian. 1991. “How Should We Do the History of Statistics?” In: Burchell, Graham, Gordon, Colin and Peter Miller (eds), The Foucault Effect. Studies in Governmentality. Chicago, Chicago University Press, pp. 181–96.

Erkkilä, Tero, Peters, B. Guy and Piironen, Ossi. 2016. “Politics of Comparative Quantification: The Case of Governance Metrics,” Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis 18(4): 319–438. Introduction to a special issue on “Governance Indices, Politics and Expert Knowledge.”

Le Bourhis, J.-P. 2016. “The Politics of Green Knowledge: A Comparative Study of Support for and Resistance to Sustainability and Environmental Indicators,” Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis 18(4): 403–18.

Oliver, Thomas R. 2010. “Population Health Rankings as Policy Indicators and Performance Measures,” Preventing Chronic Disease 7(5): A101.

Raman, Nithya V. 2012. “Collecting Data in Chennai City and the Limits of Openness.” Journal of Community Informatics 8(2).

Sassen, Saskia. 2012. “Urbanising Technology.” The Electric City.

Sauder, Michael and Wendy Espeland. 2009. “The Discipline of Rankings: Tight Coupling and Organizational Change”, American Sociological Review 74(1): 63–82 [summary].

Yu, Harlan and David G. Robinson. 2012. “The New Ambiguity of ‘Open Government’”, UCLA Law Review: Discourse 59(178).

BOOKS

Berns, Thomas. 2009. Gouverner sans gouverner. Une archéologie politique de la statistique. Paris, Presses Universitaires de France.

Bouk, D. 2015. How Our Days Became Numbered. Risk and the Rise of the Statistical Individual. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Bruno, Isabelle, Didier, Emmanuel, and Prévieux, Julien. 2014. Statactivisme. Comment lutter avec des nombres. Paris, La Découverte.

Bruno, Isabelle, Jany-Catrice, Florence, Touchelay, Beatrice (eds). 2016. The Social Sciences of Quantification. From Politics of Large Numbers to Target-Driven Policies. New York, Springer.

Davis, Kevin E. et al. (eds). 2015. Governance by Indicators: Global Power through Quantification and Rankings. Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Desrosières, Alain. 1993. La raison des grands nombres. Histoire de la raison statistique. Paris, La Découverte [English translation].

Desrosières, Alain. 2008. Pour une sociologie historique de la quantification. L’argument statistique I. Paris, Presses de l’École des mines.

Desrosières, Alain. 2008. Gouverner par les nombres. L’argument statistique II. Paris, Presses de l’École des mines.

Desrosières, Alain. 2014. Prouver et gouverner. Une analyse politique des statistiques publiques Paris, La Découverte.

Gitelman, Lisa (ed.). 2013. ‘Raw Data’ is an Oxymoron. Cambridge, MIT Press.

Goëta, Samuel. 2016. Instaurer des données, instaurer des publics : une enquête sociologique dans les coulisses de l'open data. PhD dissertation, Télécom ParisTech.

Jay Gould, Stephen. 1981. The Mismeasure of Man. New York, W. W. Norton.

Jerven, Morten. 2013. Poor Numbers. How We Are Misled by African Development Statistics and What to Do about It. Ithaca, Cornell University Press.

Kitchin, Rob. 2014. The Data Revolution. Big Data, Open Data, Data Infrastructures and Their Consequences. London, Sage.

Mary, Sally E., Davis, Kevin E., and Benedict Kingsbury (eds). 2015. The Quiet Power of Indicators: Measuring Governance, Corruption, and Rule of Law. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

O’Neil, Cathy. 2016. Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy. New York, Crown.

Ogien, Albert. 2013. Désacraliser le chiffre dans l'évaluation du secteur public. Paris, Quae éditions.

Porter, Theodore. 1995. Trust in Numbers. The Pursuit of Objectivity in Science and Public Life. Princeton, Princeton University Press.

Rottenburg, Richard, Merry, Sally E. and Sung-Joon Park (eds). 2015. The World of Indicators: The Making of Governmental Knowledge through Quantification. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Scott, James C. 1990. Seeing Like A State. How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition have Failed. Yale, Yale University Press.

Seybolt, Taylor B. 2013. Counting Civilian Casualties. An Introduction to Recording and Estimating Nonmilitary Deaths in Conflict

Siracusa, Jacques. 2014. Rendre comptes. Un examen critique des usages de la quantification en sociologie. Paris, Hermann.

Supiot, Alain. 2015. La Gouvernance par les nombres. Paris, Fayard.

Touchelay, Béatrice and Verheyde, Philippe (eds). 2009. La genèse de la décision. Chiffres publics, chiffres privés dans la France du XXe siècle. Paris, Éditions Bière.

Vatin, François (ed.). 2013. Évaluer et valoriser : Une sociologie économique de la mesure. Toulouse, Presses Universitaires du Mirail.

Wagner, Nancy L. 2016. Behind the Scenes with Data at the IMF: An IEO Evaluation. Washington DC:  International Monetary Fund Independent Evaluation Office.

Woolf, Harry. 1961. Quantification: A History of the Meaning of Measurement in the Natural and Social Sciences. Indianapolis, Bobbs-Merrill.

BLOGS

Impact of Social Sciences Blog, London School of Economics and Political Science:

Open Knowledge Foundation:

WEBSITES

Urban-level data-oriented studies:

Urban Audit – European City Statistics:

OECD – Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development:

UN-Habitat, United Nations:

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Course “Open Data for Urban Research" - master Governing the Large Metropolis - Sciences Po, urban school

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