Each week we will bring you a summary of what happened this week on our site, on Twitter, and in the wider world of civic data. Suggest stories on Twitter with #ThisWeekInData.
On GovLoop, San Francisco CDO Joy Bonaguro outlined a process for scoping data science projects in order to ensure cities deliver actionable insights in a reasonable amount of time. Recommendations include pursuing projects in cohorts to set deadlines from the outset and creating a project charter to surface ambiguities, crystallize responsibilities and identify deliverables.
GovTech highlighted efforts by departments of transportation in Massachusetts and Pima County, AZ to use tech tools and AI in order to better understand traffic patterns. Both jurisdictions are testing solutions from analytics company Miovision, using its TrafficLink platform and SmartView cameras to improve their on-scene vision and communication, as well as its SmartSense artificial intelligence to do better analysis. While Massachusetts has used the technology to keep watch over thousands of state-owned traffic signals and to monitor its busier highways, Pima County is seeking to more fluidly move vehicles through construction zones and monitor remote signals.
GovTech also reported that New York City has created a new chief privacy officer position and named Laura Negrón to fill it—a veteran of New York city government who crafted NYC’s Citywide Data Integration legal framework, which established procedures for sharing secure data across agencies. It’s no surprise that New York has created this position: as cities collect increasingly larger amounts of data, privacy and security around that data has become a top concern among public officials, particularly in light of high-profile data breaches and cybersecurity failures.
On his Better, Faster, Cheaper blog for Governing Magazine, Stephen Goldsmith profiled the successes of Mississauga, Ontario in harnessing innovative technology and stakeholder buy-in to become a model for connected communities. Mississauga's overall vision is propelled by well-thought-out partnerships and robust citywide development plans. Backed by enthusiastic investment and creative enterprises, the city and its leadership are enabling deeper connections among various city enterprises.
On April 16 and 17 in Denver, Transportation for America is launching the second round of its Smart Cities Collaborative, an initiative that offers workshops and technical assistance to help urban areas incorporate emerging technologies and services into their transportation networks. The inaugural round of the initiative took place last year, and a key area of focus for this year's cohort will be how new technologies and other factors are reshaping public right-of-ways and curb space. Automated vehicles, dockless bike-sharing and electric scooters are among the technologies and trends these cities will consider. Read more at Route Fifty.
The Center for Data Innovation published a report, “The Impact of the EU’s New Data Protection Regulation on AI,” that analyzes the potential negative influence that the newly passed General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will have on the development and use of AI in Europe. The report argues that the law will put EU firms at a competitive disadvantage compared with their competitors in North America and Asia and that the GDPR’s AI-limiting provisions do little to protect consumers, and may, in some cases, even harm them. The authors argue that the EU should reform the GDPR so that these rules do not tie down its digital economy in the coming years.
To complement this report, on Tuesday May 22, the Center for Data Innovation is also hosting a panel discussion on accountability in algorithms. The panel will explore ways that policymakers can hold algorithms accountable while accelerating adoption of AI.
New America examined the federal government’s efforts to map broadband speed across the country, arguing that a lack of reliable data leads to faulty understanding of the state of broadband and bad policymaking. Without accurate data, broadband subsidies may go to areas that don’t need it and overlook areas that really do. In order to more effectively improve broadband access therefore, the government needs to identify and integrate new sources of data.
For our Map Monday series on Data-Smart, Jess Weaver profiled the Boston Research Map, which overlays data on a variety of interrelated issues in an effort to enable academics, policymakers, and community members to gain insights into Boston’s neighborhoods. Created by the Boston Area Research Initiative (BARI), the map integrates a trove of information, including data from 311 and 911, building permit data, Census data, and much more.