A few weeks ago, we blogged about the importance of Smart Cities to promote smart sustainable cities. Half the population worldwide now lives in big cities, and this figure is expected to rise over the next ten years. Recent UN studies show that urban centers consume as much as 78% of the world’s energy and produce more than 60% of greenhouse gas emissions. This problem directly affects the quality of life of citizens; pollution, for example, produces up to 27,000 premature deaths a year in Spain. Smart Cities, therefore, are an ideal tool for developers to design applications that improve quality of life and the environment.
The rise of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and wireless networks is encouraging cities to install infrastructure to collect information about the state of the city. In some cases, data can be captured in real time, thus creating a constant flow of valuable data if properly managed to extract useful information. In this context, data availability and processing play a crucial role in developing applications that provide quality services.
The Open data iniciative
The Open Data initiative was established to address this issue. The initiative establishes principles to be followed for public institutions to distribute freely available data:
• All public data should be accessible to citizens. This does not include data subject to privacy, security and other restrictions.
• Data are freely distributed, without any license and can be used for any purpose.
• Data must be structured to allow processing, although no specific standard has been defined.
• Data is distributed promptly, to preserve the value of the data.
Open data: quality and transparency in smart cities
The digital transformation process, coupled with the public demand for transparency, has led increasing numbers of public administrations to publish open data catalogs. This is especially so in the case of big cities – New York, London, Berlin, Madrid and Barcelona, for example, all have their own web portal with an open data catalog where you can find resources on transport, pollution, traffic or agenda, among others. Some data sheets are distributed in real time, such as traffic conditions or EMT bus geolocations in the Community of Madrid.
Thanks to open data, a symbiosis is established between governments and collective intelligence that will enable the creation of living and constantly evolving cities aimed at protecting the environment, optimizing resource use and improving quality of life. At Teldat, we contribute to the Open Data initiative by developing communications technology with Smart Cities, vehicles with communications platforms and more in mind.