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Translating Databased Meaning

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October 30, 2015
Geographical Names Board of Canada 16th Annual Meeting
395 Wellington Street

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Translating Databased Meaning

  1. 1. October 30, 2015 Geographical Names Board of Canada 16th Annual Meeting 395 Wellington Street WOOD QUAY VENUE, DUBLIN, 24 APRIL 2015 Dr Tracey P. Lauriault Communication Studies School of Journalism and Communication Tracey.Lauriault@carleton.ca @TraceyLauriault Translating Databased Meaning
  2. 2. Dr Tracey P. Lauriault, Communication Studies, Carleton University TOC 1. Critical Data Studies 2. Linked Logainm Project 3. Ontologizing 4. Conclusion
  3. 3. CRITICAL DATA STUDIES
  4. 4. Dr Tracey P. Lauriault, Communication Studies, Carleton University Research and thinking that applies critical social theory to data to explore the ways in which they are never  simply neutral,  objective,  independent,  raw representations of the world, Data are instead understood to be:  situated,  contingent,  relational,  contextual, and  do active work in the world. CRITICAL DATA STUDIES Image Source: A data culture for everyone, Official Microsoft Blog, Posted April 15, 2014 By Satya Nadella - Chief Executive Officer, Microsoft, http://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2014/04/15/a-data-culture-for-everyone/
  5. 5. Dr Tracey P. Lauriault, Communication Studies, Carleton University 1. Situate data regimes in time and space 2. Expose data as inherently political and whose interests they serve 3. Unpack the complex, non-deterministic relationship between data and society 4. Illustrate the ways in which data are never raw 5. Expose the fallacies that data can speak for themselves and that big data will replace small data 6. Explore how new data regimes can be used in socially progressive ways 7. Examine how academia engages with new data regimes and the opportunities of such engagement. 7 PROVOCATIONS Craig Dalton and Jim Thatcher, 2014, What does a critical data studies look like, and why do we care? Seven points for a critical approach to ‘big data’, The Society and Space, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space http://societyandspace.com/material/commentaries/craig-dalton-and- jim-thatcher-what-does-a-critical-data-studies-look-like-and-why-do-we-care-seven-points-for-a-critical-approach-to-big-data/ Image Source: Economic Times, Indicators page, 2013 http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2013-03-13/news/37683866_1_trade-data- interstate-trade-inter-state-trade (The government is ready with a roadmap to capture interstate trade data, considered as essential for the proposed Goods and Service Tax regime, )
  6. 6. Dr Tracey P. Lauriault, Communication Studies, Carleton University Unpack the complex assemblages that produce, circulate, share/sell and utilise data in diverse ways; Chart the diverse work they do and their consequences for how the world is known, governed and lived-in; Survey the wider landscape of data assemblages and how they interact to form intersecting data products, services and markets and shape policy and regulation. CRITICAL DATA STUDIES VISION Image Source: General Dynamics IT Publish Health Data Whitepapers, 2014, http://www.itwnetworks.com/blog/view/general-dynamics-it-publish-health-data-whitepapers Rob Kitchin and Tracey P. Lauriault, Forthcoming, Toward a Critical Data Studies: Charting and Unpacking Data Assemblages and their Work, in J. Eckert,, A. Shears & J. Thatcher, Geoweb and Big Data, University of Nebraska Press , Pre-Print http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2474112
  7. 7. Dr Tracey P. Lauriault, Communication Studies, Carleton University Are more than the unique arrangement of objective and politically neutral facts & they do not exist independently of ideas, techniques, technologies, systems, people and contexts regardless of them being presented in that way DATA – BIG OR SMALL Tracey P. Lauriault, 2012, Data, Infrastructures and Geographical Imaginations. Ph.D. Thesis, Carleton University, Ottawa, http://curve.carleton.ca/theses/27431
  8. 8. LINKED LOGAINM
  9. 9. Dr Tracey P. Lauriault, Communication Studies, Carleton University PLACE NAMES Special instructions, concerning the treatment of Placenames, issued by the officer in charge of the survey Lt. Col. Thomas Colby (1829?)  “The persons employed on the survey are to endeavour to obtain the correct orthography of the names of places diligently consulting the best authorities within their reach.  The name of each place is to be inserted as it is commonly spelt, in the first column of the name book; and the various modes of spelling it used in books, writings &c., are to be inserted in the second column, with the authority placed in the third column opposite to each.  The situation of the place is to be recorded in a popular manner in the fourth column of the namebook.  A short description of the place and any other remarkable circumstances relating to it are to be inserted. This data was recorded in Namebooks which are now stored in the National Archive.” http://www.osi.ie/education/third-level-and-academic/history-of- place-names/
  10. 10. Dr Tracey P. Lauriault, Communication Studies, Carleton University TRANSLATIONS Set in Baile Beag, County Donegal, in 1833 Turbulent times in the British Colony. The British want to map the island and translate Gaelic place names into proper standardized English. Brian Friel, 1981, Translations: A Play, London: Faber & Faber
  11. 11. Brian Friel, 1981, Translations: A Play, London: Faber & Faber
  12. 12. Dr Tracey P. Lauriault, Communication Studies, Carleton University LINKED LOGAINM  Linked Data version of the authoritative bilingual database of Irish place names logainm.ie.  Irish place name data in a structured, computer-readable format which allows its value to be fully exploited by collaborators, web developers, computer scientists, the heritage community and information professionals.  Collaborative project:  Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI)  INSIGHT @ NUIGalway (Digital Enterprise Research Institute DERI)  Fiontar at Dublin City University  National Library of Ireland - Longfield Map Collection  Placenames Branch of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
  13. 13. Dr Tracey P. Lauriault, Communication Studies, Carleton University AUTHORITY
  14. 14. Dr Tracey P. Lauriault, Communication Studies, Carleton University LOGAINM.IE http://www.logainm.ie
  15. 15. Dr Tracey P. Lauriault, Communication Studies, Carleton University LINKED DATA Data published on the web following a set of principles designed to promote linking between entities: UI  Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) RDF  Resource Description Framework to specify links & type between 2 URIs (w3c) GLD  Geographic Linked Data w/geolocation in Irish Grid Reference & World Geodetic System coordinates Logainm.ie is the authoritative subdomain in the URI Data can be reused to build applications SPARQL  RDF query language
  16. 16. Dr Tracey P. Lauriault, Communication Studies, Carleton University LOCATION LODER logainm.ie DBpedia  The data held in Wikipedia’s infoboxes are made available as Linked Open Data via DBpedia.org. Irish Historic Town Atlas  Established in 1981 aims to record the topographical development of a selection of Irish towns both large and small. This dataset tracks changes to streets and street names in Dublin over time, and includes bibliographic references to original sources where present. National Library of Ireland  Longfield map collection consists of 1,671 individual maps bound into twenty-eight volumes. The maps represent all counties in Ireland with the exception of Kerry. Europeana.eu  is an internet portal which acts as a hub for digitized cultural content across Europe. Content on Europeana includes digitised artworks, books, archival documents, film and audio. http://apps.dri.ie/locationLODer/
  17. 17. Dr Tracey P. Lauriault, Communication Studies, Carleton University SOURCES H. B. Clarke and Sarah Gearty, 2013, Maps & Texts: Exploring the Irish Historic Town Atlas. Dublin: Royal Irish Academy
  18. 18. Dr Tracey P. Lauriault, Communication Studies, Carleton University JOHN O'DONOVAN, GLOSSARY, IRISH TOPOG[RAPHICAL] DICT[IONARY] MANUSCRIPT 1830-1832  “A glossary in alphabetical order of various Anglicised placename elements, followed by their Irish forms and a translation.  ‘Derivation of all the names of places in Lanigan’s Ecclesiastical History of Ireland [four volumes, 1822] as given by himself, by Vallancey and others with remarks by J. O’Donovan. December 23, 1830’.  ‘A list of Irish words that enter into the composition of many names of places in Ireland’. The Irish words are followed by a translation and generally by relevant examples from placenames. Some personal names and surnames are also included.  ‘A list of saints’ names to whom Irish church[es] were dedicated’. This short list is on the final verso page and includes toponymic examples of the saints’ names.” http://www.logainm.ie/en/res/179 John O'Donovan, Ordnance Survey
  19. 19. Dr Tracey P. Lauriault, Communication Studies, Carleton University BIOGRAPHIES National Database of Irish Biographies with publishers Cló Iar-Chonnacht. This features more than 1,700 people since the year 1560 who have had an involvement with the Irish language. There is an alphabetical listing as well as comprehensive cross-referencing, full-text search for keywords and phrases, timelines, and life attributes such as works, awards and events http://www.ainm.ie/ .
  20. 20. Dr Tracey P. Lauriault, Communication Studies, Carleton University TERMINOLOGY National Terminology Database with Foras na Gaeilge. This is a 200,000+ listing of Irish-language terms in specialised and contemporary subjects. http://www.tearma.ie/
  21. 21. Dr Tracey P. Lauriault, Communication Studies, Carleton University FOLKLORE The objective is to initiate the digitization of the National Folklore Collection (NFC) so that, by 2016: (i) the public will have access to material from the Collection on the public website (ii) a data management system will be available for NFC to which other material can be added in future. http://www.duchas.ie/en
  22. 22. Dr Tracey P. Lauriault, Communication Studies, Carleton University AUDIO RECORDINGS +1,200 hours of recordings made in the 1960s and 1970s in 24 counties and placenames were collected from more than 4,000. The audio material and its catalogue were digitized in 2009 & the database was created in Fiontar as part of an MA Research Fellowship undertaken by Cáit Nic Fhionnlaoich, 2010–2011, sponsored by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. http://www.logainm.ie/phono/
  23. 23. Dr Tracey P. Lauriault, Communication Studies, Carleton University DOCUMENTATION http://apps.dri.ie/locationLODer/docs/linked _logainm_narrative_report_en.pdf http://apps.dri.ie/locationLODer/docs/usi ng_linked_logainm_en.pdf
  24. 24. ONTOLOGIZING
  25. 25. Dr Tracey P. Lauriault, Communication Studies, Carleton University THE PROGRAMMABLE CITY A European Research Council (ERC) and Science Foundation of Ireland (SFI) funding  SH3: Environment and Society  Led by Dr Rob Kitchin, the Primary Investigator  Based at the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis (NIRSA)  At the National University of Ireland Maynooth (NUIM)  The Programmable City is funded by a European Research Council Advanced Investigator award (ERC-2012-AdG- 323636-SOFTCITY.
  26. 26. Dr Tracey P. Lauriault, Communication Studies, Carleton University MIT Press 2011 Sage 2014 Of the ERC project is to build off and extend a decade of work that culminated in Code/Space book (MIT Press) with a set of detailed empirical studies AIM
  27. 27. Dr Tracey P. Lauriault, Communication Studies, Carleton University OBJECTIVES How is the city translated into software and data? How do software and data reshape the city? Translation: City into Code & Data Transduction: Code & Data Reshapes City THE CITYSOFTWARE Discourses, Practices, Knowledge, Models Mediation, Augmentation, Facilitation, Regulation
  28. 28. Dr Tracey P. Lauriault, Communication Studies, Carleton University SUB-PROJECTS Translation: City into code & data Transduction: Code & data reshape city Understanding the city (Knowledge) How are digital data materially & discursively supported & processed about cities & their citizens? How does software drive public policy development & implementation? Managing the city (Governance) How are discourses & practices of city governance translated into code? How is software used to regulate & govern city life? Working in the city (Production) How is the geography & political economy of software production organised? How does software alter the form & nature of work? Living in the city (Social Politics) How is software discursively produced & legitimated by vested interests? How does software transform the spatiality & spatial behaviour of individuals? Creating the smart city Dublin Dashboard
  29. 29. Dr Tracey P. Lauriault, Communication Studies, Carleton University SOCIO-TECHNOLOGICAL TRANSFORMATION
  30. 30. Dr Tracey P. Lauriault, Communication Studies, Carleton University OSI TECHNOLOGICAL TRANSFORMATION
  31. 31. Dr Tracey P. Lauriault, Communication Studies, Carleton University SKIN OF THE EARTH OBJECT MODELLING 5 skin of the earth objects  Ways  Water  Vegetation  Artificial  Exposed Z-Layer Superimposed Networked Grouped GDF1 GDF2 centrelines Sites Locales Boundaries Seamless, topologically consistent blanket of polygons that covers the entire surface of Ireland w/no holes or gaps http://www.osi.ie/OSI/media/OSI/Prime2_Docs/Prime2-V-2.pdf
  32. 32. Dr Tracey P. Lauriault, Communication Studies, Carleton University RE-ONTOLOGIZING THE CITY GEOGRAPHICAL SCOPE: National, Dublin OBJECTS OF STUDY: Study of the data assemblage of OSi’s PRIME2, examine how Dublin and city things are understood in the new object oriented data model, assess if these change how the city is modelled and then acted upon. TIME FRAME: 2014-2018 CASE STUDY OUTPUTS: A. 1 Case Study Report B. Data Assemblage C. Tracing the Production of Space - Making up Dublin - Genealogy from class to object D. Academic Publications
  33. 33. Dr Tracey P. Lauriault, Communication Studies, Carleton University DATA COLLECTION Attend OSi & 1Spatial Road shows and public speaking events One day coordinated field trip & group interviews at OSi Sligo (survey data capture unit)  examine the Prime & Prime2 flow lines  Real-time survey and data update of a building 1.5 months as an embedded researcher, OSi in Phoenix Park  One-on-one interviews with key actors (Transcribed audio recordings):  model creation, cartography, production, photogrammetry, map preservation, data re- engineering, budget, procurement and contracting, licencing and law, marketing, CTO, SDI managers, surveyors and gate keeper  Group interview  One full day interview with data modeling & data re-engineering team, including consultants & project managers  Document Collection  As discussed in the data assemblage: contract, requirements, specifications, modeling descriptions, flow lines, budgets, org charts, strategy documents, working wiki, historical records, code, instruction manuals, guidebooks, photos of machinery, screen captures of systems  Collection of objects across time for Dublin  Places in Dublin as understood in the old and the new model, and as seen or captured in the new and the old technological systems
  34. 34. Dr Tracey P. Lauriault, Communication Studies, Carleton University 1. KITCHIN’S DATA ASSEMBLAGE “As such, data-driven, networked urbanism is thoroughly political seeking to produce a certain kind of city.” (Kitchin, 2015) Material Platform (infrastructure – hardware) Code Platform (operating system) Code/algorithms (software) Data(base) Interface Reception/Operation (user/usage) Systems of thought Forms of knowledge Finance Political economies Governmentalities & legalities Organisations and institutions Subjectivities and communities Marketplace System/process performs a task Context frames the system/task Digital socio-technical assemblage HCI, remediation studies Critical code studies Software studies Critical data studies New media studies game studies Critical Social Science Science Technology Studies Platform studies Places Practices Flowline/Lifecycle
  35. 35. Dr Tracey P. Lauriault, Communication Studies, Carleton University MAPPING OUT THE ASSEMBLAGE
  36. 36. Dr Tracey P. Lauriault, Communication Studies, Carleton University 2. GENEALOGY OF A DATA MODEL Material Platform (infrastructure – hardware) Code Platform (operating system) Code/algorithms (software) Data(base) Interface Reception/Operation (user/usage) Systems of thought Forms of knowledge Finance Political economies Governmentalities & legalities Organisations and institutions Subjectivities and communities Marketplace System/process performs a task Context frames the system/task Digital socio-technical assemblage HCI, remediation studies Critical code studies Software studies Critical data studies New media studies game studies Critical Social Science Science Technology Studies Platform studies Places Practices Flowline/Lifecycle
  37. 37. Dr Tracey P. Lauriault, Communication Studies, Carleton University DATA MODEL GENEALOGY 20151995 2000 2005 2010 Launch Prime2 Requirements Workshop Award of bid RMDS Production Freeze Prime Restructuring Prime 1 RMSI data Re- engineering EU Procurement Directive RatifiedOsi ACT Tender for Conceptua l Model Inspire Contract Awarded, 3 companies build prototypes Data modelling discussions w/OSNI, OS UK
  38. 38. Dr Tracey P. Lauriault, Communication Studies, Carleton University 3. MAKING UP SPACES (Modified Ian Hacking Framework of Making Up People, (Lauriault 2012)
  39. 39. Dr Tracey P. Lauriault, Communication Studies, Carleton University ICONIC CITY THINGS Prime2 Data Model Iconic Object Way M50 – Red Cow interchange Water Docklands – Samuel Beckett Bridge / Gasometers Vegetation Collins Barracks / Esplanade Building Observatory, GPO, Liberty Hall, Heuston Station, Connelly Station, Collins Barracks, OSI, Conference Centre, Digital hub Guinness Factory, Ivy trust Guinness – flat complexes, park area beano, public baths, Hilton Hotel / Rowntree Sweets, Kilmainham jail & museum, Croke Park / Lansdowne Road Artificial Bull Wall island Z-Order Priority Samuel Becket Bridge, Kings Bridge, Halfpenny Bridge (Way & Structure) Superimposed Objects - Structure Nelsons pillar blow up in 1966/Spire? Stiletto in the Ghetto, Wellington monument – obelisk Divisions City Walls / Antiquity, The Pale, Guinness Walls Networks – water, rail, roads Liffey & Grand Canal, M50, North & South Circular, Heuston, Connelly, Luas Grouped Objects M50 road network Names. N & S Circular Road, Rivers & Canals Sites, Locals Trinity (Site), Temple Bar (Locale)
  40. 40. Dr Tracey P. Lauriault, Communication Studies, Carleton University Cassini, 6”, 1st ed. Circa? HEUSTON STATION ACROSS TIME Cassini 6”, 1943-44 Cassini 25”, 1st ed, Circa? Cassini25”, 1936 Heuston Station, Prime2 MapGenie Heuston Station, Prime2 SOE
  41. 41. Dr Tracey P. Lauriault, Communication Studies, Carleton University MULTI-SCALED NESTED APPROACH 2 0 1 5 1 9 9 5 2 0 0 0 2 0 0 5 2 0 1 0
  42. 42. Dr Tracey P. Lauriault, Communication Studies, Carleton University CONCLUSION We are continuously translating. The land and the people dynamically change, so do the socio- technological data assemblages, from Gaelic to English in the colonial Survey, back into Gaelic in the post-colonial Linked Logainm Project, the territory is then translated from the colonial cartographic maps into a post-colonial real-world object database. The interconnections increase. In each case, the translation technologically mediates places and culture, with each iteration it remains infrastructure, one that increasingly finds itself interconnected with others. Databases are augmenting meaning. Our job is to build better systems, but more critical, reflexive, sensitive and nuanced ones, always thinking of the meaning we are inscribing, cognitive of the material and cultural affect on the world.

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