The Swissnex Urban Data Challenge

By Sina Blassnig

Sina Blassnig is Junior Communications Manager at swissnex San Francisco. As a public-private venture, swissnex San Francisco connects the dots between Switzerland and North America in science, education, art, and innovation.

Apr 22, 2013 | Smart Cities | 0 comments

Busses, trams, pedestrians, and cars zoom about modern cities. But with urban growth comes challenges—one of them is how to improve transportation.

The Urban Data Challenge competition invited participants to explore mobility data sets from three cities—San Francisco, Geneva, and Zurich—and were challenged to draw meaningful insights through visualization. Over 60 designers, programmers, data scientists, and artists completed the challenge from Zurich, Geneva, San Francisco, Seattle, New York, Paris, and Singapore. (Watch the highlights from the awards above.)

Frustration-indexThe results are impressive:  Transit Quality + Equity gets political by overlaying transit data with income levels, the Frustration Index incorporates the emotional aspects of using public transport. Dots on the Bus, recieved the Fusepool prize of $5,000 to develop their visualization into something truly useful by bringing humor to the difficult issue of public transport – rush hour can be hilarious.

Or watch a visualization that let you fly over Geneva along a bus route in A City’s Heartbeat.

The Urban Data Challenge proves the power of Open Governmental Data. Antoine Stroh, project manager for Public Transport Geneva, is amazed with all the work put into the project and the results. They opened up its first data set for the Urban Data Challenge. For Antoine Stroh the results of the challenge seem to point into the right direction. “This is a first step,” he says. “I am sure that we will carry on with open data.”

This is only the beginning. Now, we will see how the three cities move forward and follow the insights, actions, and implementation, there is also a touring exhibit of the projects planed, an Urban Data Challenge 2014 with more data sets and more cities. Stay tuned.

Discussion

Leave your comment below, or reply to others.

Please note that this comment section is for thoughtful, on-topic discussions. Admin approval is required for all comments. Your comment may be edited if it contains grammatical errors. Low effort, self-promotional, or impolite comments will be deleted.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Read more from the Meeting of the Minds Blog

Spotlighting innovations in urban sustainability and connected technology

Closing the Water Access Gap in the United States

Closing the Water Access Gap in the United States

Today, over 2 million Americans are living without access to clean, running water. The newly released ‘Close The Water Gap’ report by DigDeep and the US Water Alliance pulls back the veil on America’s hidden water crisis.

This is the first-ever comprehensive look at indoor water access across the United States, and its findings are explosive: Race is the strongest predictor of vulnerability. In six states (plus Puerto Rico), progress is actually backsliding. More than 44 million Americans are served by water systems with recent violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act.

The Link Between Climate Change & Water

The Link Between Climate Change & Water

When thinking about conserving water, we should also be focusing on how more efficient water use correlates with energy savings. Studies show that when households participate in water savings programs, they also conserve energy and reduce strain on the power grid during peak demand periods while saving consumers money on their utility bills.

Water utilities can also dramatically increase their energy efficiency and reduce overall energy usage by adopting locally based solutions. For many municipal governments, drinking water and wastewater treatment plants are typically the largest energy consumers, often accounting for 30 to 40 percent of total energy consumed. Overall, drinking water and wastewater systems account for approximately two percent of energy use in the United States, adding over 45 million tons of greenhouse gases annually.

Using Data to Reduce Public Health Risk

Using Data to Reduce Public Health Risk

Addressing the impact of heat on health is well-aligned with MCDPH’s vision and mission “to make healthy lives possible” by protecting and promoting the health and well-being of MC residents and visitors. The climate has significant impacts on our community’s health. Through extensive surveillance and community surveys, we have demonstrated the importance of local public health data to increase buy-in from new and existing partners and obtain funding to address this significant public health issue. We encourage other health departments to consider the power of data and collaboration as they seek methods for protecting the public’s health from a changing climate.

Share This