Participatory data practices for local issues


The Visual Methodologies Collective actively takes part in the Citizen Data Lab.

The Citizen Data Lab is based at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, faculty of Digital Media and Creative Industries. The research lab brings together researchers, designers, developers, artists, issue experts, citizens and students.
The lab addresses local issues through participatory data practices: methods, approaches and tools for co-creation to learn about and through data.

The code and designs from the Citizen Data Lab projects an be accessed via Github.

The Citizen Data Lab was founded by Sabine Niederer in 2014 with support from Amsterdam Creative Industries Network (ACIN), and has been coordinated by Wouter Meys from the beginning. The lab is a collaboration between three research groups at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences: Visual Methodologies Collective, Play & Civic Media - with professors Ben Schouten and Martijn de Waal, and Urban Analytics - with professor Nanda Piersma, and external partners including Amsterdam University of the Arts (Amsterdamse Hogeschool van de Kunsten), Amsterdam Light Festival, De Gezonde Stad (The Healthy City), and the Amsterdam Municipality.  


Research Domains:

Participatory Mapping
The Citizen Data Lab develops tools and methods for the collaborative collection and analysis and interpretation of data. Their methods leverage contextual and tacit knowledge as well as expert knowledge of participants to build a nuanced, inclusive and shared understanding of data produced in a local context.

Sample projects:

Look! A Healthy Neighborhood
Mapping Dapperbuurt
Plot Party

Data collection together with Slotermeer residents

Community Empowerment
Open source tools and methods are developed, and disseminated to strengthen local bottom-up initiatives. The aim is to help communities create long term positive impact on the neighborhoods of Amsterdam and the city as a whole.


Sample projects:

Our Online Platforms
Citizen Empowerment Tools

Overview of Amsterdam Bottom-up initiatives

Data Awareness
The Citizen Data Lab builds tools, methods, design objects and art works to learn about the role and impact of data in our society. We share our tools and publications to empower communities and individuals alike.

Sample projects:

Miasma Fields at Amsterdam Light Festival
Crypto Design Awards


Artwork ‘Miasma Fields’ at the Amsterdam Light Festival