‘Big data, Better data?’ workshop

Last Monday, I had the chance to participate in the workshop ‘Big Data, Better Data’, organised by the Culture Metrics research project. So, here my ramblings inspired by it, but for a precise review of the workshop and other related posts check the project blog.

During this workshop, I presented my work on the spinning statuette, an Egyptian statuette recorded spinning on itself in its case in the Manchester Museum. The video went viral in summer 2013 and I am examining online and on site reactions to the episode in a chapter of my thesis. Presenting this work in a Big Data workshop was an interesting experience, since in the past I had presented it at archaeology conferences, focusing on the influence of popular representation of archaeology emerging from social media comments (at TAG Bournemouth 2013) or on the use of the notion of ‘magic’ to explain the statue’s rotation (at TAG Manchester 2014).

This time, instead, I was supposed to discuss it as a sort of big data case-study: I guess I was totally surprised to be invited to this workshop, since I’d never thought before I was actually dealing with big data. And indeed, this was one of the questions that emerged in the discussion: is my analysis really based on big data? Continue reading “‘Big data, Better data?’ workshop”

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Skiing and Big Data

This year a new free app by Dolomiti Superski allows checking your own performance after a day of skiing and establishing your ‘wellbeing factor’.

Once you have inserted the code on your skipass ticket, the app will show you a short animation with all the lifts you have taken. Briefly, you can reconstruct your skiing day based on when you have checked in at a lift: the only data needed is your skipass number, because the system checks your skipass ID with the data collected at the barriers. Obviously therefore, it won’t tell the exact slopes you’ve done: it is impossible for the system to know whether you were skiing on the right or left of the lift, which slopes in succession have you done (especially given the wide range of possibility offered by all the Dolomiti Superski carousels). Continue reading “Skiing and Big Data”