WRITTEN ON June 2nd, 2007 BY William Heath AND STORED IN Design: Co-creation, Online Maps, Power of Information, What do we want?
The power of shared open access to government date was proved 150 ago with the case of the cholera outbreak and the Broad Street pump. Sam points me to this on John Udell’s blog:
If you’re an Edward Tufte fan, like me, you’ll know the story of the 1854 cholera outbreak in London, and of John Snow’s map which showed deaths clustered around the Broad Street pump and which proved that the cause was bad water, not bad air (miasma). That story plays a central in Steven’s current book, and in his talk he points out that Snow was part of a larger cast of characters. One important but neglected figure was Henry Whitehead, a local vicar who collaborated with Snow. Another was William Farr, a government statistician. Although he initially favored the incorrect miasma theory, Farr had the good sense to publish the data that enabled others to find the right answer.
if you won the facts you may not necessarily see the answer. Someone else might make better use of it. They’ll definitely make different use of it.
There’s also a nice Stewart Brand summary of Steven Johnson’s talk about thinking on multiple scales of both time and space. Part of the Long Now lecture series), I think that’s was kicked off this whole thread off (which I haven’t really unravelled – I’ve got what I want and it’s a sunny day outside).