Recommendations of the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge Programme completed
The City of Helsinki, the only Nordic city chosen for the worldwide IBM Smarter Cities Challenge programme, has received a report prepared by an international working group. Within the scope of the cooperation project, the expert group compiled information on open data available in Helsinki and prepared recommendations on possibilities of integrating and visualizing data. The project is also a part of the World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 programme.
The six-person international expert team of IBM lived and worked in Helsinki for three weeks in September-October 2011. For starters, the expert group discussed the project with stakeholders such as Helsinki Region Infoshare. The extent of the project was defined and the goals and angles from which the exploitation of data would be processed were set. During the phase, a workshop was set up on data visualization and urban data, where some 40 participants developed ideas around the usage of open data.
The report comprises concrete recommendations through which the City can promote the exploitation of open data. The report also offers examples of visualizations made. Part of these has been described as visions and part will be realized during the WDC year. One visualization example combines the monitoring of the city’s snow situation and citizens’ reports of streets in need of service.
The aim of visualization is not only to produce images but also to create examples on how ordinary people can understand and process data they have seen and act accordingly. At best, visualization can also further civic dialogue since the context can be focused with the help of a related image. Open public data and its exploitation play an important part in utilizing and combining data in a new way.
‘’Our cooperation has been smooth. The openness and availability of data is a central alignment in the City’s operations. We want to be forerunners in this’’ says Mayor Jussi Pajunen.
‘’Cities generate a lot of useful data, and the City of Helsinki has worked actively to make such data open. The City and we together sorted out what wisdom can be found in such amount of information. Communality, civic participation and the development of new, innovative services are goals worth striving for’’ says Tuomo Haukkovaara, General Manager of IBM Finland.