Examining data practices: TheCyberabad metropolitan police’spublicly accessible crime mapHyderabad Urban LabMarch 2nd 2013
Hyderabad Urban Lab✤   HUL is a multidisciplinary urban research initiative that is inspired    by the idea of the ‘right ...
Hyderabad Urban Lab✤   We are in the process of building an online platform for research, data    sharing and data generat...
Hyderabad Urban Lab
Hyderabad Urban Lab
Hyderabad Urban Lab
Hyderabad Urban Lab
Hyderabad Urban Lab
Hyderabad Urban Lab
Hyderabad Urban Lab
Hyderabad Urban Lab✤   We have also been making forays into another area, which is the    examination of the role of data ...
Hyderabad Urban Lab✤   Ravinder Kaur put her finger on something very important in her    analysis of the discussions that...
Midnight March-January 5th 2013
Midnight March-January 5th 2013
Midnight March- The Route
Midnight March- tank bund as asymbolic space✤   Important public space tied to Hyderabad’s identity✤   400 year old lake- ...
Midnight March- tank bund as aprotest space✤   The area around Hussain Sagar has been part of multiple strategies to    tu...
Midnight March- tank bund as aspace of consumption✤   Hussain Sagar, being an important part of the city’s identity, is a ...
Midnight March- tank bund as aspace of consumption
Midnight March- tank bund as aspace of consumption
Midnight March- tank bund as aspace of consumption
Midnight March- tank bund as aspace of consumption
Midnight March- tank bund as aspace of work✤    Tank bund is also a space of work for two groups of women- street    sweep...
Midnight March- tank bund as aspace of work
Safer cities- the role of data✤   One action plan from events organized post the march was to create a    crowdsourced map...
Safer cities- the role of data
Safer cities- the role of data✤   SafeCity is an intervention that comes from a particular set of notions    on the role o...
Safer cities- the role of data
Safer cities- the role of data
Safer cities- the role of data✤   Especially with conversations on open data, there is a tendency to    believe that data ...
The Cyberabad metropolitan police’spublicly accessible crime map✤   In the midst of all of these debates, we got wind of a...
The Cyberabad metropolitan police’spublicly accessible crime map
The Cyberabad metropolitan police’spublicly accessible crime map
The Cyberabad metropolitan police’spublicly accessible crime map
The Cyberabad metropolitan police’spublicly accessible crime map- Issues✤   There were four main issues that immediately j...
The Cyberabad metropolitan police’spublicly accessible crime map- Issues✤   With regards to the erroneous data we felt tha...
The Cyberabad metropolitan police’spublicly accessible crime map- Issues
The Cyberabad metropolitan police’spublicly accessible crime map- Issues
The Cyberabad metropolitan police’spublicly accessible crime map- Issues
The Cyberabad metropolitan police’spublicly accessible crime map- Issues
The Cyberabad metropolitan police’spublicly accessible crime map- Issues✤   Pressure to visualize the data a certain kind ...
The Cyberabad metropolitan police’spublicly accessible crime map- Issues✤   The way the data is categorized- shows how val...
The Cyberabad metropolitan police’spublicly accessible crime map- Issues
The Cyberabad metropolitan police’spublicly accessible crime map- Issues✤   The basis of categorization comes from the Ind...
The Cyberabad metropolitan police’spublicly accessible crime map- Issues✤   A window into how the police person understand...
The Cyberabad metropolitan police’spublicly accessible crime map- Issues
Moving Forward- discussion✤   What can we say about open data when these processes are    unpacked? - data practices are h...
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Examining Data Practices: Cyberabad's Publicly Accessible Crime Map

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This presentation uses the emerging debates centered around violence against women in India to stage an intervention around the general consensus that the opening of government data can have a significant positive impact in the creation of safer and more inclusive cities.

The usefulness of open data to the general public largely depends upon two factors- the interface through which the public can access and make sense of this information, and the data practices embedded within the specific institution providing this information. While the first issue can be resolved through smart technological interventions, the question of data practices is inherently a political one.

How do you affect the data practices of large government institutions to be more receptive toward public need? What is the urgency to ideate such strategies? These questions will be discussed by using a publicly accessible crime map made available by the Cyberabad Metropolitan Police as a case in point.

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Examining Data Practices: Cyberabad's Publicly Accessible Crime Map

  1. 1. Examining data practices: TheCyberabad metropolitan police’spublicly accessible crime mapHyderabad Urban LabMarch 2nd 2013
  2. 2. Hyderabad Urban Lab✤ HUL is a multidisciplinary urban research initiative that is inspired by the idea of the ‘right to the city’.✤ It aims to build an academically rigorous urban research program that is responsive to the needs of new and emergent communities of practice in cities in the Global South.✤ We believe that at this time of rapid and dramatic changes in urban structures, we need to be innovative and willing to transgress conventional disciplinary boundaries and academic protocols in the pursuit of ecological sustainability and social justice.
  3. 3. Hyderabad Urban Lab✤ We are in the process of building an online platform for research, data sharing and data generation customized for the city of Hyderabad✤ Two of our prime focus areas are water and waste.
  4. 4. Hyderabad Urban Lab
  5. 5. Hyderabad Urban Lab
  6. 6. Hyderabad Urban Lab
  7. 7. Hyderabad Urban Lab
  8. 8. Hyderabad Urban Lab
  9. 9. Hyderabad Urban Lab
  10. 10. Hyderabad Urban Lab
  11. 11. Hyderabad Urban Lab✤ We have also been making forays into another area, which is the examination of the role of data in the creation of safer and more inclusive cities - spurred by recent debates in Hyderabad around the issue of violence against women.
  12. 12. Hyderabad Urban Lab✤ Ravinder Kaur put her finger on something very important in her analysis of the discussions that were happening in the media and other spaces after the violence in Delhi (The Hindu, January 4th, 2013)✤ There were strange and interesting mis-recognitions
  13. 13. Midnight March-January 5th 2013
  14. 14. Midnight March-January 5th 2013
  15. 15. Midnight March- The Route
  16. 16. Midnight March- tank bund as asymbolic space✤ Important public space tied to Hyderabad’s identity✤ 400 year old lake- cultivation in the foreshore✤ 1940s a promenade was built- becoming a space of leisure✤ Tank bund- early 1980s TDP- creating a symbolic space- built 32 statues (Andhra Coastal Communities, resembled NTR)✤ In the 90s the foreshore was converted into a road- Necklace road✤ During this period a number of parks were created
  17. 17. Midnight March- tank bund as aprotest space✤ The area around Hussain Sagar has been part of multiple strategies to turn it into a symbolic space- spectacular spaces are important to world city making.✤ In important space of protest and resistance- drive to sanitize this space- highly regulated✤ State Secretariat main gate was changed too face lumbini park.✤ Barring a few examples(farmer protests in 2000, million march 2011) in recent years has seen mainly domesticated protests- candle light vigils etc.✤ Many more ‘unruly’ kinds of protests have been restricted to Dharna Chowk south of tank bund
  18. 18. Midnight March- tank bund as aspace of consumption✤ Hussain Sagar, being an important part of the city’s identity, is a crucial space that state actors have tried to re-imagine in their quest to become a world class city.✤ A lot of effort has gone into casting it as a public space of leisure and world class consumption, while simultaneously attempting to sanitize it from being used as a space of protest.✤ In the 90s and early 2000s - lumbini park, eat street, peoples plaza, IMAX theatre, NTR park, Sanjeeva park spruced up.
  19. 19. Midnight March- tank bund as aspace of consumption
  20. 20. Midnight March- tank bund as aspace of consumption
  21. 21. Midnight March- tank bund as aspace of consumption
  22. 22. Midnight March- tank bund as aspace of consumption
  23. 23. Midnight March- tank bund as aspace of work✤ Tank bund is also a space of work for two groups of women- street sweepers and sex workers✤ Two groups that receive a lot of violence- workers rights- space of illegality✤ There were efforts to engage these two groups. However there was no participation - tank bund being imagined as a space of consumption vs a space of work.✤ The timing of the march, which was late at night did not allow for the participation of these two groups.✤ In fact, the march, which occurred right in the middle of their workspace disrupted their work - the sweepers were asked to wait until the march was over while the sex workers were moved east of tank bund, right next to the municipal office.
  24. 24. Midnight March- tank bund as aspace of work
  25. 25. Safer cities- the role of data✤ One action plan from events organized post the march was to create a crowdsourced mapping platform that logs reports of sexual harassment and sexual assault in India- known as SafeCity (and inspired by the SafeCity initiative in the Netherlands).✤ It operates on the very important idea that unlike violent crimes, acts such as groping in public spaces and the like are difficult to report to the authorities, are not collected by them, and that this is vital data to capture.
  26. 26. Safer cities- the role of data
  27. 27. Safer cities- the role of data✤ SafeCity is an intervention that comes from a particular set of notions on the role of data in making cities more safe and inclusive, something that perhaps we all ascribe to, and that wraps in itself a whole set of set of beliefs on how individuals and citizen groups play an important part in using data to creating impact.✤ This is perhaps why it is not surprising that the SafeCity platform is not the first of it’s kind that has been build to tackle this issue. We are aware of the efforts of at least two other NGOs, Prajnya in Chennai, and Jagori in Delhi that have used and championed similar platforms.
  28. 28. Safer cities- the role of data
  29. 29. Safer cities- the role of data
  30. 30. Safer cities- the role of data✤ Especially with conversations on open data, there is a tendency to believe that data pre-exists - the job is to go out there and get it.✤ However data is an artifact. It is a product of political and social processes - that ultimately influence the data practices of every institution responsible for creating these datasets.✤ This process is usually ‘black boxed’.✤ What can we say about open data when these processes are unpacked??- this is an open question.
  31. 31. The Cyberabad metropolitan police’spublicly accessible crime map✤ In the midst of all of these debates, we got wind of a data platform that visualized crime data for the Cyberabad area - developed by a private consultant for the Cyberabad metropolitan police(http://tecdatum.in/crimemap.aspx).✤ We scraped the data from the site, and the analysis of this data gave us multiple insights into their data practices; from the process of data digitization, to the way in which gender offenses are categorized and recorded by the police stations.✤ All of this provided us with a window to really understand how the government ‘sees’ crime related to gender.
  32. 32. The Cyberabad metropolitan police’spublicly accessible crime map
  33. 33. The Cyberabad metropolitan police’spublicly accessible crime map
  34. 34. The Cyberabad metropolitan police’spublicly accessible crime map
  35. 35. The Cyberabad metropolitan police’spublicly accessible crime map- Issues✤ There were four main issues that immediately jumped out when we took a closer look at the data- issues connected to erroneous data, the way the data was categorized, issues related to the data collection/visualization process, and finally the issue of privacy.
  36. 36. The Cyberabad metropolitan police’spublicly accessible crime map- Issues✤ With regards to the erroneous data we felt that the way the data was spatialized was particularly problematic, with evidence to suggest that the long/lat values were given somewhat in an adhoc manner.
  37. 37. The Cyberabad metropolitan police’spublicly accessible crime map- Issues
  38. 38. The Cyberabad metropolitan police’spublicly accessible crime map- Issues
  39. 39. The Cyberabad metropolitan police’spublicly accessible crime map- Issues
  40. 40. The Cyberabad metropolitan police’spublicly accessible crime map- Issues
  41. 41. The Cyberabad metropolitan police’spublicly accessible crime map- Issues✤ Pressure to visualize the data a certain kind of way? Akin to other crime mapping efforts by other countries, but something that does not reflect the way data is collected or understood downstream?
  42. 42. The Cyberabad metropolitan police’spublicly accessible crime map- Issues✤ The way the data is categorized- shows how valuable an initiative like SafeCity can be...
  43. 43. The Cyberabad metropolitan police’spublicly accessible crime map- Issues
  44. 44. The Cyberabad metropolitan police’spublicly accessible crime map- Issues✤ The basis of categorization comes from the Indian penal code. They reflect legal categories, that is, the categorization connects to various laws that exist so that the FIR can translate into a charge sheet.
  45. 45. The Cyberabad metropolitan police’spublicly accessible crime map- Issues✤ A window into how the police person understands the complaint and translates it into an FIR.✤ Hints at the fact that the way the data is collected and visualized allows for very little accountability- no way of tracking cases, hard to find out who is responsible for writing a particularly poor FIR or responsible for a improperly categorizing a case.
  46. 46. The Cyberabad metropolitan police’spublicly accessible crime map- Issues
  47. 47. Moving Forward- discussion✤ What can we say about open data when these processes are unpacked? - data practices are highly contextual - there is a need to interrogate these processes. ✤ How do we think through the potential of data / data collection strategies in the context of the example of street sweepers and sex workers in the Hyderabad context? what does it take for an initiative like SafeCity to connect to these groups?✤ How does one affect not only the way in which government makes it’s data available, but also how and what data is collected and visualized?

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