As with so many other people’s questions, my research question has continued to develop in the last week. This is its current incarnation: how is open data released by Canadian municipal governments being used and/or organized by groups of citizens to create applications or objects that they view as being useful for their everyday life?
Additional questions involved are these people’s reasons for creating the objects they do, the strategies they use, the ways that they organize the data, what sort of information is of interest to them, and how they make their created objects available to others. Hopefully these questions will also allow for a deeper understanding of who the people in these groups are and how they use, understand and disseminate information.
As you can see open data is a core component of my research. In addition to this, there will also be examination of visualizations with a good deal of map overlaying since that is one of the major ways that these citizens make use of the open data.
Since I am examining this question through an information prospective, all the major issues are deeply connected to information studies and the iSchool prospective. For example, examining how people make sense of information by organizing and making use of it to create functional and helpful applications for their own use and the use of others deals with many central issues of information studies. Ideas of accessibility, knowledge organization, and open data are all involved. I’m sure that even more connection will become apparent as I continue to examine my research question.