Parking charges in Helsinki are managed with the help of a data warehouse labelled Parkkihubi (parking hub). Data can now be accessed from Parkkihubi through an open interface. This open interface makes the Helsinki parking data, rendered anonymous, available to all users. For example, the data could be used to develop an app for automotive navigation systems to inform drivers of newly vacated parking spaces.
The open interface of Parkkihubi was launched in September 2018. Navigation systems and parking apps can now obtain real-time data through the interface on the parking status in the approximately 1,800 parking zones of Southern Helsinki.
The development of the open interface was made possible by the fact that parking enforcement has shifted from pen and paper to fully electronic tools.
“Today three out of four parking charges are paid with smart phones using various apps,” says the Parkkihubi project manager Lauri Uski of the City of Helsinki Urban Environment Division.
The most widely used mobile apps for paying parking charges in Helsinki are currently Easypark and Parkman. When a user of one of these apps vacates a parking space, information on the free space is registered in Parkkihubi and is available through the open interface for use by any digital service.
Up to one-quarter of traffic in the Helsinki city centre is caused by drivers looking for free parking spaces. Rendering the Parkkihubi data anonymous means that the locations of individual vehicles are not available from the open interface.
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