About the book

The Data Revolution: Big Data, Open Data, Data Infrastructures and Their Consequences by Rob Kitchin was published by SAGE publications in August 2014.

Traditionally, data have been a scarce commodity which, given their value, have been either jealously guarded or expensively traded.  In recent years, technological developments and political lobbying have turned this position on its head.  Data now flow as a deep and wide torrent, are relatively low in cost and supported by robust infrastructures, and are increasingly open and accessible.  A data revolution is underway, one that is already reshaping how knowledge is produced, business conducted, and governance enacted, as well as raising many questions concerning surveillance, privacy, security, profiling, social sorting, and intellectual property rights.

In contrast to the hype and hubris of much media and business coverage, The Data Revolution provides a synoptic and critical analysis of the emerging data landscape.  Accessible in style, the book provides:

(1) a detailed overview of big data, open data and data infrastructures

(2) an introduction to thinking conceptually about data, data infrastructures, data analytics and data markets

(3) a critical discussion of the technical shortcomings and the social, political and ethical consequences of the data revolution

(4) an analysis of the implications of the data revolution to academic, business and government practices

Sample chapters can be accessed here.

The Data Revolution book is one of the first outputs from a five year project, ‘The Programmable City’ funded by a European Research Council Advanced Investigator award (ERC-2012-AdG 323636-SOFTCITY)