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> Crowd-hitch a ride to explore America's new frontiers
The purpose of this project is to show how data, both big and small, is changing communities all across America.
Today we live in an era in which massive amounts of data are collected, analyzed, integrated, and disseminated in novel ways to make the world a better place. The unprecedented volume of information being generated today is transforming virtually every industry, including health care, transportation, energy, manufacturing, education and government. In every sector, new tools are allowing organizations to extract more value from increasingly larger data sets. And every day new advances in computing technology, including faster processors, cheaper storage, lower-cost sensors, better displays, ubiquitous wireless networks, and better software analytics, are unlocking additional opportunities to harness data and create a world that is alive with information. The purpose of this project is to show how data, both big and small, is changing communities all across America. At each MTP locality, I will invite leaders involved in data-related projects—from government and civic leaders engaged in open data projects to entrepreneurs creating the next big data applications—to share their ideas and stories. Just as Alexis de Tocqueville used his journey across America to capture how democracy was transforming the U.S. economy and society, I will use this as an opportunity to capture how new uses of data are transforming our nation.
There are many people across the country who are contributing to data innovation in America. This project will help bring together their voices and explore how the changes brought about by information technology are affecting communities in the United States. I will reach out to data evangelists, entrepreneurs, and educators at every stop. I hope to answer questions like, “Who has the most interesting ideas for how data can change the world?”, “Which cities have the most thriving community of data scientists and data analysts?”, “What new technologies are making data innovation possible?”, and “Which communities have the most interesting open data initiatives?”
By talking to people engaged in the same types of data-related challenges in each city, I hope to help make connections and build bridges between individuals and organizations involved in data innovation.
Throughout the MTP experience, I will produce a series of written and video blog posts and interviews with individuals in each city who are part of the data innovation revolution. All of these stories will be documented on the Data Innovation Day website. In addition, the ideas and lessons about how data is transforming communities will be integrated into the work I do at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a non-profit, non-partisan think tank in Washington, DC. This will help policymakers better understand the benefits of data and lead to better policies to support citizens benefiting from these projects.
Travis Korte is a research analyst at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) where he works on ITIF’s “Data Innovation” project. He has a background in journalism, computer science and statistics. Growing up in Santa Monica, California, a few blocks from the RAND Corporation, he became interested in think tanks as a teenager. After studying critical theory and graduating Summa Cum Laude from UC Berkeley, he immersed himself in quantitative topics for several years, eventually launching the Science section of The Huffington Post and serving as its Associate Editor. He has worked on data science projects with HuffPost, Occupy Data NYC, DataKind and other organizations. His research interests are in complex social systems and computational social science. On the side, he enjoys hip-hop, internet art, and climbing the occasional mountain.