Data as performance – Showcasing cities through open data maps

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This article describes how the City of Los Angeles is showcasing data-driven services to the public through dynamic visualisations of open data. I frame an analysis of this aspect of datafication in local government through linguistics and cultural theory; drawing on this set of literature I theorise the use of public data as both a performative tool and a performance of data-driven city services. I then discuss examples of interactive maps on the City of Los Angeles’ open data websites, produced by the Bureau of Sanitation, the Controller’s Office, and the Department of Transportation. The article concludes with some general thoughts on how open data maps are a new form of impression management; they set up a relationship in which government and citizens are in alignment, sharing an orientation towards administrative problems that begins at the same point, framed by an administration’s datasets.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalBig Data and Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2020

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • smart city
  • critical cartography
  • performativity
  • open data


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