Power and Peril

Powerful tools are a double-edged sword. They can be helpful in solving your everyday tasks, but there is a catch. Often, the more powerful the tool, the more damage it can cause. Think of a chainsaw, for example – while it is an effective tool for cutting down trees, it is important that it’s used by someone with skill and experience, as misuse can lead to serious injury.

The Tombolo Digital Connector is an incredibly powerful tool for combining urban data sets to create models, which can explain how cities work. The Digital Connector can make life easier for modellers and allow them to find new uses for data and models. Decision makers in city authorities can then use these models and insights to inform policies and interventions.

However, the Tombolo Digital Connector comes with a warning label – if used by unskilled hands, it may lead to misjudged decisions.

In order to combat this problem, we have embedded transparency into the core of the Digital Connector’s design. Any combination of data sets and urban models can be traced back to their original data sources, with all data processing and interlinking clearly explained and documented. While this does not completely remove the risk of misuse, it does make it less likely to happen and much easier to spot.

We encourage you to use the Digital Connector for your data analysis and urban modelling, but please ensure that your data connections are combined with sufficient domain knowledge and cross-disciplinary scrutiny.

The Digital Connector is now LIVE on GitHub for everyone to try.

To find keep up to date with the Digital Connector join us on Twitter.

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