Tue Dec 18, 2012, 09:53 AM
phantom power (23,291 posts)
The Need for Crowdsourcing Energy Data
There have been a lot of bottom-up attempts to collect and combine data, many of which have been reported in TOD. This high-quality information is often represented in such a way, that does not allow others to build upon the work. Excellent collective efforts like the megaprojects taskforce on Wikipedia seem to have died. One of the reasons for this demise could be the lack of analytical power the current setup of Wikipedia allows: timeline data, conflicting sources, and large sets of relatively unworthy facts (e.g. location of wellheads) are not handled well. But also the Wikipedia community may not be aware of the notability of energy data.
Quality control is naturally an important issue. Who do you trust: Encyclopaedia Britannica or Wikipedia? One could argue that only paid experts provide the necessary comprehensiveness, accuracy and oversight. However, paid experts' time is limited and possibly biased. TOD community has ample well-informed members who can check facts & figures. That' s what TOD is all about to begin with! There is a lot of collective cognitive energy being spent on TOD, and it would be beneficial if we could channel this more effectively so that we can leverage each other's efforts instead of repeating them. We also notice that the cognitive energy of experts is often wasted, as they find it easy to point out problems, but there are not always systems in place that permit them to contribute their knowledge to improving the data.
Of course this is no easy task. We argue, however, that a relatively large group of motivated individuals can curate data more effectively than one or two paid professionals who have to wade through tens of thousands of data points. To show some interesting examples of what can be done with open data, in particular OpenStreetMap, ScraperWiki, and Wikipedia, we have set up a portal on our own Delft University of Technology site Enipedia.
The project uses open source semantic software that is readily available. However, to our knowledge it has not been used in an online attempt to gather, curate, and display scientific data on energy infrastructures. It opens up possibilities to a community of interest that was until now unavailable in a dynamic fashion: to contribute to each others' work and to critique and improve the available information.
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The Need for Crowdsourcing Energy Data (Original post)
|phantom power||Dec 2012||OP|