OA research in the news: New website turns data into knowledge

Data USAIn 2013, federal, state, and local governments were required to make their data openly available. More than 195,000 datasets on property values, family incomes, and many other topics are now free for reuse. But how to sift through and understand it all?

A new project announced this week by the MIT Media Lab promises to turn “data into knowledge.” The project, a visualization website called Data USA, was led by Cesar Hidalgo, an associate professor in the Media Lab, who worked for over a year with the consulting firm Deloitte and programmers, economists, designers, and researchers to develop the site.

Type “Massachusetts” into the Data USA  search box and the page displays options for exploring the economy, demographics, housing, and health. Under “education,” for example, you can find the percentage of degrees awarded by MIT in the state (2.6%) and see a colorful visualization of the data.

“The goal was organize and visualize data in a way that a lot of people think about it,” said Patricia Buckley, director of economic policy and analysis at Deloitte, in the New York Times.

 Explore Professor Hidalgo’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.

Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009, they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world via DSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.