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    Data mobilities: Rethinking the movement and circulation of digital data

    Kitchin, Rob and Davret, Juliette and Kayanan, Carla and Mutter, Samuel (2024) Data mobilities: Rethinking the movement and circulation of digital data. Working Paper. Data Stories, Maynooth University Social Sciences Institute, Maynooth.

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    The mobility of data has been variously described as data: flows, streams, journeys, threads, transfers, exchanges, and circulation. In each case, the mobility of data is conceived as a movement from here to there; that data moves along a chain of receivers and senders. However, we contend that the metaphor of a data flow (or stream, journey, etc.) does not reflect well the sharing and circulation of digital data. Rather, data replicate (copies), with the original source retaining the data and a new source gaining it, and data proliferates (multiplies) and diffuses across systems and sites when made openly available. As data replicate and proliferate they are transformed through processes of data cleaning, data wrangling, data fusion and enrichment, producing new incarnations of the source data. Moreover, data does not replicate and diffuse alone, but with companions, such as other data (e.g., metadata, derived data) and information (e.g., documentation, visualisations). The replication, proliferation and diffusion of data is facilitated by seams (interface/connection points between systems) and aided by metadata, standards and protocols, and hindered by frictions and vulnerabilities. We illustrate our argument through a case study of the planning data ecosystem in Ireland.

    Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
    Keywords: data mobilities; data journeys; replication; diffusion; data flow; data frictions; data seams;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Institutes > Maynooth University Social Sciences Institute, MUSSI
    Item ID: 18716
    Identification Number: Data Stories Working Paper 3
    Depositing User: Prof. Rob Kitchin
    Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2024 16:08
    Publisher: Data Stories, Maynooth University Social Sciences Institute
    Funders: European Research Council, grant no. 101052998
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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