Rounding up the most topical data stories from around the world this week…

Open banking: radical shakeup or threat to your data

Open banking - data

This weekend a ‘quiet revolution’ in banking begins. Open Banking. It has the potential to cause the biggest shake-up in personal finance in years. But it could also present a more sinister side too. The aim of Open Banking is to give the consumer more control of their own personal financial data, and allow them to share it with companies other than their bank, opening up opportunities to get better deals on mortgages, overdrafts and such like. For some it’s been hailed as groundbreaking, making the system more competitive, and giving consumers access to the best products for them. For others, however, it’s a minefield of problems for the security of previously private data. Which is it for you?

Visualising the uncertainty of data

Visualising the uncertainty of data

Data is a representation of real life. But can a spreadsheet really encapsulate every facet of real life? Of course not… This can lead to an uncertainty in data. “Statistics is a game where you figure out these uncertainties and make estimated judgements based on your calculations. But standard errors, confidence intervals, and likelihoods often lose their visual space in data graphics, which leads to judgements based on simplified summaries expressed as means, medians, or extremes.” That’s no good, when some of the most important and interesting analysis can be found in this grey area. You need to find a way to embrace the uncertainty in your data, not just ignore it.

The anatomy of the Urban Dictionary

Urban Dictionary

The Urban Dictionary is a crowdsourced website that records new words and their meanings. It began life in 1999 as a parody of Dictionary.com and, while the Urban Dictionary is often most famed for its vulgar meanings found in the most mundane words, it has become an important online resource. Where else can you learn your ‘Bae’ from your ‘Slay’, after all… But just how good is the Urban Dictionary at capturing new words, and how does it compare with more conventional approaches to producing online dictionaries? Now – thanks to this analysis of some 2,661,625 definitions for 1,620,438 words and phrases comparing the Urban Dictionary and its content with Wiktionary – we can find out.

Mapping the daily commute to world cities

Mapping the daily commute to world cities

“The ease with which people are able to connect with their services, institutions, and support can ultimately separate communities that thrive from those left behind. Regardless of recent advances in electronic and online communications, inequalities persist in physical access to resources and opportunities that are primarily concentrated in urban centres.” A new Global Map of Accessibility uses a wide range of data sources to help policymakers, investors and developers understand where the largest gaps in accessibility remain. Here it’s used to map the commuting times to the nearest urban centres around the world.

Global Map of Accessibility

…Alternatively, this Global Map of Accessibility can be used for ulterior motives… charting remoteness. Tropical forests are the lungs of our planet, and a haven for biodiversity. Most forest loss, degradation and fragmentation occurs in a “risk zone” around transport networks. While, mapping accessibility to cities is a useful proxy for the relative ease by which people in rural areas can access services and resources concentrated in more urban areas, conversely, it can measure the relative inaccessibility and remoteness of the world’s last wild places.

Google Street View Now Has A Soundtrack, Thanks To AI

Google Steet View puts you in the driving seat, helping you to explore every street, corner, park and alleyway. It offers a glimpse of natural and man-made environments around the world. It gives a real life eye to our inhabited planet. And now, thanks to AI, it might well offer you ears too… Imaginary Soundscape uses Artificial Intelligence to match Street View images with the sound track it thinks you are likely to hear there.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Posted in Big data, Media roundup On January 12, 2018 By