Health (crisis) mapping: How to map public health?

Earlier this month, I started working on a paper which will be published in an edited volume on Geographies of Digital Culture. My article will explore how developments in ‘neogeography’ and big data-mapping have influenced the field of public health surveillance. It will deal with questions such as: How can social media content be used in order to monitor and map infectious disease developments? What kind of challenges do public health services face which are based on users’ self-diagnoses and rely on citizens’ willingness to participate? How can researchers encourage users’ involvement in “participatory epidemiology” (Freifeld et al. 2010) and how can these crowdsourced data be combined with other sources from e.g. news websites or social networks? The following draft is an excerpt from my introduction.

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Call for Papers: “Hacking and Making: Meanings, Practices, Spaces”

Together with my Maastricht University colleague Karin WenzI will edit the fourth issue of the Digital Culture & Society journal. The issue will be dedicated to the topic: “Hacking and Making: Meanings, Practices, Spaces”. We look forward to receiving exciting submissions to our call for papers:

In 2014, hackerspaces in the Netherlands issued an open letter to the Dutch Public Prosecution Service (PPS): In this document, members of hacker communities from Amsterdam, Heerlen, Utrecht and other cities called upon the governmental institution to revise the definition of ‘hacking’ as it was presented on its website.[1] While the PPS defined hacking as “breaking into computers without permission”, the hackerspace members highlighted that hacking means to creatively engage with technologies and to explore them in ways which were not foreseen by their original producers. Opposing the reduction of hacking to illegal activities, they described hacking as exploration of technological boundaries and possibilities.

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Coming up: Science Hack Day Eindhoven

As part of my research on hacking and making communities, I recently came across the upcoming Science Hack Day in Eindhoven. It is organised by the MAD emergent art center: a “laboratory, platform and provider on the intersection of art, science and technology delivering open innovation for social creativity”. The event is coming up soon, but if you are interested in participating, you can still sign up via eventbrite. The hackathon takes place from at the Gaslab in Eindhoven from 30-31 August 2014. Tickets are free and the event language will be English.

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