OpenDataSoft is excited to be involved in an ambitious Smart City experiment currently taking place in the City of Paris, led by Cisco and in partnership with Placemeter. In December 2015, the City of Paris began installing sensors in one of the busiest traffic circles in the city – la Place de la Nation. These sensors will measure noise, traffic, and air quality, and communicate the results in real time in Open Data, on the Paris Open Data Portal, powered by OpenDataSoft. The information will thus be available from anywhere with an Internet connection and a web browser!
The project is focused on empowering citizens to help them make more responsible decisions surrounding their everyday activities. Beyond the Open Data portal, these data can be looked at directly in the space itself. There will be touch-screens installed at bus stations, displaying visualizations of the data, automatically updated as new information streams in; these will allow users to interact with the data to help them get a better understanding of collective impact in a public space. This is quite a remarkable application of Smart City practices!
With data on the noise levels from car horns, positioned next to live information about traffic conditions and air pollution accessible right where they are being produced, the new, highly informed Smart Citizen might be more inclined to hop on the metro or another lower-impact forms of transportation, rather than jumping into a taxi. When these Smart City practices are applied across the city, individual impacts can end up being quite significant to help reap the benefits promised by the Smart City. It is here, at this very traffic intersection in Paris, that we can finally see the crossroads of Open Data and the promises of the Smart City.
To ensure data quality, the datasets have not yet been published on Paris’ Open Data Portal. However, once they are this project will be an extremely exciting example of sensor data being made available in Open Data. Such a project is quite rare, if not unique. It is important for this information to be in Open Data to maximize their accessibility and reuse potential. If made available simply as Open APIs, these data are not accessible to a non-technical audience. With the data accessible to the masses, any citizen regardless of technical expertise will be able to view and understand the data to contribute their ideas to renew and improve their public spaces.
It will be exciting to watch the project grow and expand further across Paris!