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Free urban data -- what's it good for?

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

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Credit: ©Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

New Rochelle, October 29, 2014 -Cities around the world are increasingly making urban data freely available to the public. But is the content or structure of these vast data sets easy to access and of value? A new study of more than 9,000 data sets from 20 cities presents encouraging results on the quality and volume of the available data and describes the challenges and benefits of analyzing and integrating these expanding data sets, as described in an article in Big Data, the highly innovative, peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The Open Access article is available free on the Big Data website.

In the article "Structured Open Urban Data: Understanding the Landscape," Luciano Barbosa and Marcos Vieira, IBM Research, Brazil, and Kien Pham, Claudio Silva, and Juliana Freire, New York University School of Engineering and NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress, NY, present several promising findings. These include a steadily increasing volume of open urban data, the ability to integrate different data sets, and the finding that much of the available data is published in standard types of formats. The authors also discuss the main challenges that make it difficult to take full advantage of these data sources.

"Big urban data is a powerful new phenomenon that has the potential to transform everyday lives of hundreds of millions of people quickly via personal devices that integrate, filter, and create useful personalized information. This paper documents the sources and value of these data," says Big Data Editor-in-Chief Vasant Dhar, Co-Director, Center for Business Analytics, Stern School of Business, New York University.

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About the Journal

Big Data, published quarterly in print and online, facilitates and supports the efforts of researchers, analysts, statisticians, business leaders, and policymakers to improve operations, profitability, and communications within their organizations. Spanning a broad array of disciplines focusing on novel big data technologies, policies, and innovations, the Journal brings together the community to address the challenges and discover new breakthroughs and trends living within this information. Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Big Data website.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative medical and biomedical peer-reviewed journals, including OMICS: A Journal of Integrative Biology, Journal of Computational Biology, New Space, and 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's more than 80 journals, newsmagazines, and books is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.

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