ELNYA Event at Talking Transition

My friend Jackie from Only Make Believe recently asked me to speak at the Emerging Leaders of New York Arts (ELNYA) event at the Talking Transition tent in New York. Talking Transition is an initiative to give New Yorkers the chance to take part in a conversation with the incoming DeBlasio mayoral administration. At the ELNYA event, I represented the city's tech needs, as they intersect with needs of the arts and arts administrators community. Here is the gist of what I said.

I would like the new mayoral administration to reaffirm its commitment to open data. For those who are not familiar, the city publishes large data sets on the NYC Open Data website. These sets are public data generated by, and aggregated from city organizations. Example sources are demographic (census, racial, and income), public transportation (bikeshare usage, subway performance), city services (311 requests school performance), city operations (real estate statistics, licensing and permitting info), and many, many more.

While it may not be immediately obvious as to how open data relates to the realm of arts, one way in which you could make the connection is that open data is a source for creative and insightful visualizations into the lifeline of the city. Artists, designers, and thought leaders can use the data sources to reveal hidden patterns, which can then be used contextually to influence sentiment. You can begin to get a sense of how some people are using the data by looking at the city's own Tumblr page, which shows off some nifty examples of data visualization.

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