How technology is impacting and supporting the public sector (free PDF)

Governments, public utility officials, and civic leaders around the world are tapping into solutions that are driven by emerging technologies—from big data analytics to AI to IoT. This ebook looks at several recent initiatives designed to improve services in the public sector.

From the ebook:

Some cities are benefiting from a new data collection paradigm that involves gathering real-time info on street conditions reported via mobile apps by everyday citizens. Here’s where and how it works.

In Boston, residents can help improve their urban streets by downloading a Street Bump mobile app that collects road condition data while they drive. The city gathers this data and provides real-time information to users on street conditions. The city also uses the data for street maintenance planning.

In New York, Seattle, and San Francisco, real-time mobile apps help harried drivers find parking spots in congested downtown areas.

Two trends are clear: Cities are moving to more real-time data for residents and residents are getting the chance to directly contribute data to an open data repository that’s continuously being updated with the latest information.

“Working with open transportation data that is both real time and static has been a boon to cities, especially smaller cities with limited budgets for their geographic information systems (GISes),” said Matt Caywood, CEO of TransitScreen, which provides real-time mobile data curation services.

In the not-so-distant past, cities and online services were providing residents and visitors with static street map information that showed users what routes were available to get from point A to point B, but they left out equally vital information, such as where streets were closed for road repairs and where parking could be obtained downtown. This static and often outdated information made it necessary for city maintenance crews to perform manual inspections throughout the city to check for areas in need of repair. The physical inspections are still carried out—but now they’re embellished with real-time or near real-time information that comes in not only from city planners and operations superiors, but from everyday citizens who use mobile apps to report a pothole or a dangerous break in the pavement.

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