Managing a town hall is not an easy task. There are so many departments and sources of information to be valued and taken into account to make decisions. To facilitate and improve this process, we have location intelligence solutions, which manage to centralize all the information so that the pertinent authorities decide in a more efficient way.
Cities are complex systems, especially large cities, where control and efficient management becomes a real challenge for their town halls and public entities. Today we tell you how thanks to location intelligence solutions such as NowCity, it is possible to overcome many of the challenges they face, thus being able to offer better management and optimization of resources based on documented decision making.
The problem of the management of any city comes largely from the lack of control that is produced by the disorganization of information. There are many sources providing data – traffic, water, electricity, pollution … – and in most cases, with different formats so they cannot be crossed. Additionally to this, there is a problem of information management, which in certain cases becomes obsolete before being processed.
As a result of this, the management of the city itself is not as efficient as it could be, since despite having access to the data in real time, they do not cross and/or are not processed with sufficient agility to facilitate the documented decisions making and the optimization of the management system.
When we talk about big cities, as is the case of Mexico City, this is even more complicated, because not all areas of the city have sensors that are constantly taking data and the size and volume of the population makes management become a real challenge. However, location intelligence solutions can help improve the situation.
Location Intelligence for the optimization of Town Halls management
As we mentioned previously, the implementation of location intelligence solutions such as NowCity, especially focused on town halls management, help to improve documented decision making.
A clear example of the usefulness of this platform is the possibility of presenting in a scorecard all the information related to the city, segmented in clusters and in a geolocated way. In this way, the main indicators can be visualized for the person in charge of making decisions quickly and intuitively, thus improving the decision-making process.
On the other hand, public entities, especially those related to cities, are increasingly involved with transparency policies and with the opening of data to citizens, not only so that they are informed, but also so that they can use them in tertiary applications and take advantage of them. Not all data produced by a city are open, however, there is a tendency to open the maximum possible.
As we mentioned before with the information from different sources, which was a real challenge for the Town Halls, the data that they intend to open, have the same problem.
NowCity has a portal for citizens where people with decision-making power decide what information is made public. They are not only open data what is shown but a mixture of open and own of each agency that are of high interest to citizens.
Going back to the field of city management from city halls, location intelligence solutions have already proven on numerous occasions that they are very beneficial for the common good.
Recently, the running Strava application published a map of the activity of its users around the world (which led to a small scandal to unintentionally reveal the position of secret military bases). Beyond the controversy, this news must extract the importance of the data provided by the use of certain applications.
The MIT Senseable City Lab published an interactive map with the most popular routes that the citizens of San Francisco and Boston walked, ran or rode bicycles. Along with the time data, it gives a good idea of what the behavior of people on the street is and what factors influence it.
A town hall can rely on these data to build a bike lane and know which areas are most needed and which are the most common routes.
The use of sensors is one of the main bases for the development of smartcities and, combined with location intelligence solutions, helps identify problems and needs. Not all information necessarily comes from external applications, but it is also extracted directly from the city.
The sensors allow tracking of very different aspects of the functioning of the city that would otherwise go unnoticed or problems would not be discovered until it was too late. Thus, monitoring is constant and much easier to detect possible problems and even foresee them.
NowCity and México City
As we mentioned at the beginning, the operation of a city is very complex and depends on different interrelated parts. This problem is even greater when we talk about larger and denser places, such as Mexico D.F.
Mexico City is one of the largest and most populated cities in the world, and needed a tool that would allow it to make the most of the information and make compatible all the different sources from which it came to work on them.
This large-scale project required a partner such as Geographica with experience in different areas: Big Data, Business Intelligence, geolocation data visualization in real time -location intelligence- and predictive services.
Geographica has a long experience in this type of platforms development, having created solutions capable of monitoring in real time the information from the sensors installed in different cities of the world. It is the result of the union of CARTO’s technique and knowledge with our capabilities.
NowCity is a web platform composed of different thematic modules that provide a quick and clear overview of the city state. For example, NowCityTaxes is the part reserved for the acquisition, collection and administration of local taxes. Thus, with all departments and even a section for monitoring social networks in real time.
In addition, NowCity has two differentiated portals according to the user’s authority that wants to access. The first is private, specific for employees and executives with decision-making power, while the second is intended for the general public with a somewhat more restricted information, but designed to offer that transparency required by taxpayers today.
It is still early to make definitive conclusions about the implementation of NowCity in Mexico City, since the project is still in the early stages of its implementation, but we can forward that the results so far are being positive
Ultimately, the location intelligence applied to town halls management entails a series of advantages, which will soon become essential tools in smart cities. Tools like NowCity help to clearly show different variables in one place and improve the decision-making process. In addition, it improves the transparency of the entities that use them and thus have much better informed citizens.