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Open Data Institute - Using open data and volunteered geographic information for smart cities

Using open data and volunteered geographic information for smart cities

Smart cities are positioned as a solution for addressing many of our 21st-century challenges. Smart cities can be supported by harnessing location-based data, coupled with the appropriate and sustainable use of technology. Essentially, being ‘smart’ equates to a paradigm shift of embracing an open culture while exploring greater use of open data and peer-to-peer, volunteered geographic information (VGI)

Volunteered geographic information (VGI) as crowdsourced location-based data

In the present day, location-based data is not just generated and maintained by governments or businesses, but rather, contributed extensively by the public as volunteered geographic information (VGI). There are many ways in which people contribute meaningful VGI.

Examples include citizen as sensors for detecting air quality and earthquake monitoring, citizen feedback reporting, community mapping via Openstreetmap and peer-to-peer sharing using location-enabled social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Many examples of VGI today are publicly-accessible but can be made open in order to unlock greater value from its use. A good example is the use of data to support ‘smarter’ flood management.


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