Five short links

Photo by Naír la jefa

From Social Data Mining to Forecasting Socio-Economic Crises – An academic manifesto for Big Data. I’m surprised to find myself on the skeptical end of the spectrum, the promises feels a bit too techno-utopian, but this is a great overview. It does cover ‘problematic issues’ in one section, and hits a lot of my concerns, eg that ’08 really was “the first financial crisis sparked by Big Data

The Billion Prices Project – A valuable, practical example of what we can do now that data’s cheap and easy to process on a massive scale. I’ll love to see how this stacks up against survey-based methods for measuring inflation over the next few years.

The Mendeley Data Challenge – Science was the original pioneer of open data, but business models have ossified and restricted the flow of valuable information. Happily, I learned at SciFoo that there’s a ragtag band of researchers and organizations looking to create a much more flexible ecosystem. Mendeley are making available this tasty usage data on millions of scientific articles, to help innovators create new applications, since nothing else like it is available outside of the big publishers.

Mapping America: Every City, Every Block – Damn you New York Times for making such kick-ass map visualizations! Fast, clean and inspirational for my own work.

Don’t buy that internet company – Big company management is mostly about avoiding risk and blame. It’s very hard for anything outside of the corporation’s original DNA to flourish in that atmosphere, since almost everything an upstart is doing will have no precedent internally, and so hit a wall of opposition.

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