How Do You Digitize a Metropolis?
How do you create a digital archive of an entire metropolis? How do you decide what to include and what to leave behind? How do you build in data in a useful way and make it accessible to a variety of parties? These are the questions that have been in consideration by a team in Singapore the last 3 years. They have been building a model of the entire country, which will launch on a public platform next year. Public agencies and private entities alike will have access to a huge suite of traffic data, building data, digital models, and other information about the city.
The goal of this project is to collect, centralize, integrate, and, in a way, democratize information about the city; this model is a holistic approach to building smart cities. According to the Vice President of the company leading the project,
“I think the dilemma of cities these days is that they’ve been offered a lot from other companies to place technologies for smart cities into their public space,” Rocker said. “They allowed these companies to control how the technology is accessed , and the data is more or less owned by the companies that placed the technology into the urban space. The benefit we can give to cities is to reassess the value of that data by helping them to integrate the data in a smarter way. It’s a rethinking of the possible business models for cities in general.”
Will the model be useful? Will data be able to smoothly integrate into projects in innovative new ways? Or will so much information overwhelm and confuse decision makers? It will be interesting to see the roll out of this project next year and investigate how different entities are able to use this data. As the first project on this scale, the data sets and overlaps that prove valuable will be something to watch for cities across the globe as they collect more and more data.
For more information, read an in-depth look into the project on Digital Trends.