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Section: Bilateral Contracts and Grants with Industry

Google Research Award

Participants : Jean-Daniel Fekete [correspondant] , Petra Isenberg, Jeremy Boy, Heidi Lam.

Offering data access to the public is a strong trend of the recent years. Several free data providers or repositories are now online (e.g. http://data.gov.uk , http://stats.oecd.org , http://publicdata.eu , http://opendata.paris.fr , http://www.google.com/publicdata , http://www.data-publica.com ), offering a rich set of data to allow citizens to build their own understanding of complex political and economic information by exploring information in its original form. However, these initiatives have had little impact directly on the public since working with this open data is often cumbersome, requires additional data wrangling, and the spreadsheets themselves take a long time to understand before useful further work can be done with them. This proposal focuses on public data visualization to offer more engaging environments for exploration of public data and to enable stronger democratic discourse about the data contents.

The goal of this proposed research project is to bridge the gap between generic visualization sites for public data and engaging content-specific visualization of this data which can be used and individually adapted to tell a story about public data. Through the design and deployment of rich and engaging interactive visualizations from public data sources we want to truly reach the goal of the public data movement: empowering the citizens and social actors by allowing them to better understand the world they are living in, to make informed decisions on complex issues such as the impact of a medical treatment on a dangerous illness or the tradeoffs offered of power plant technologies based on facts instead of assumptions.

For more information, see http://peopleviz.gforge.inria.fr/www .