Cities are magnets, attracting people from everywhere to their bright lights and exciting opportunities. But they are groaning under the weight of their expansion which is as steady as it is fast. Their streets are clogging up with congestion, their inhabitants consume electricity faster than utilities can produce, crime is increasingly difficult to control, people are dissatisfied with civil services, etc.
But the answer is nigh. All these people - with all their phones, cars, social network accounts, houses, offices, energy consumption, etc. - that demand so much from our cities, leave ‘Big’ traces everywhere. Because ‘Big Data’ is to be had on every corner of our streets: from smart meters, RFID tags, healthcare providers, street security cameras, Foursquare, public transportation organizations, smart phones, research centers, logistics companies, sensor networks, in-car devices, etc. And where there is so much data, there are patterns to be found and insights to be gathered.
Enter the Smart City: the IT-savvy city that works with what it has, and makes it better, faster and more efficient. It is the intelligent metropolis that knows how to leverage the enormous treasure of Big Data at hand into actionable insights with smart technology. It is the bright town that does not need more power plants, but uses smart grids and smart meters for a better energy management. It should be your city, if it is not already.
Smart Cities are all about collaboration, sharing and transparency. They need true openness of data. It is not just governments opening up their data for everyone in public platforms. It is individual citizens and privately-owned companies offering their data to the government or government departments sharing their data with one another. That is the true meaning of ‘Open Data’, which goes beyond the traditional definitions. Because Smart Cities eat the ‘status quo’ for breakfast. They change at the speed of light, together with their environment. They are the cities of the future.
‘Open Data power Smart Cities’ is a new publication dealing with these themes. It’s the fourth installment in a series of booklets published by Across Technology on behalf of EMC Greenplum. You can download ‘Open Data power Smart Cities’ using the link below.