Living Map at Smart Sustainable Cities
How can city officials use data and technology to create a more liveable urban environment?
In March 2018 the Smart Sustainable Cities event brought together delegates from European cities to showcase and review smart city projects in the UK. The two day workshop in London invited city officials, startups and academics to discuss solutions for transport, environment, public health and smart living.
Data and distribution – the challenge
One of the biggest problem all city delegates are facing, was finding an easy way to manage and distribute their geospatial information. While there is a growing amount of geo data on transport, accessibility or waste disposal, the challenge is to make it available in a user-friendly manner.
Eamon Kerrigan, Living Map Head of Sales:
“A lot of cities have a GIS team that can develop an effective visualisation of local services, but it ends up just sitting there on their website. We need to find a way to make that information easily available to the public and encourage them to interact with it.”
The case studies presented at the event demonstrated best practice cases and created a dialogue about how to makes the most of smart city data.
Best practice examples
One of the local case studies featured was our work with Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The vibrant and complex site is full of attractions, but significant redevelopment has made it difficult for visitors and residents to keep up with everything the park has to offer.
With a snowstorm compromising our planned field trip to the park as part of this event, we were forced to rearrange and explore the space virtually: Our digital and interactive map enables users to see what’s going on at each of the park’s attractions, explore areas of biodiversity and find transport information and lit routes at night on all mobile and desktop devices.
Since its launch mid-June in 2017, the park map encourages greater utilisation of the park by residents of neighbouring boroughs and promote healthier lifestyles. Our collaboration with the local stakeholders continues and discussions to enrich the platform with new features such as activity booking services, live event APIs or digital guided tours are ongoing.
Other case studies included SenSat’s work in Cambridge, which aims to build a Smart City in a week. Sensat uses various data capturing tools – including a fleet of autonomous drones – to develop high-resolution 3D models. The result is an interactive visualisation of geographic information, which makes useful insights available very quickly and helps managing the diverse datasets in a single, easy to use platform.
Another interesting project called Finding Places was presented by Matthias Wieckmann from Hamburg. ‘Finding Places’ utilised smart data and mapping technology to find housing for refugees. It’s a collaborative project that engages with the local community to create a sense of ownership among all participants. With 44 locations being found in the city, the approach turned out to be so successful, that it’s likely to be transferred to other European cities.
Cases like this enable cities to make more informed decisions and to react and adapt according to the needs of its citizens.
If you are interested in any of the case studies discussed at the workshop, you can find more information on the event website.
Better decisions through visualisation
A recurring topic of the event was the problem of visualising data across space. We got some valuable input concerning the challenges city officials face and gained a better understanding of how we can help overcome them. It was inspiring to explore different solutions from all over Europe and see how effective data management can inform better decisions for smart sustainable cities.