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Open data online platform to boost citizen engagement in Glasgow

10 minute read
In line with the global trend towards digitizing services in cities, Governments are launching national plans to promote the effective harnessing and management of technology and make data available to citizens and institutions to benefit from it. Today, data is the primary factor in developing visions and designing the services and projects that governments provide to their citizens in line with their changing needs.
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As part of its digital strategy, The Scottish city of Glasgow has launched a new open data platform, Accompanied by interactive applications that provide information to those interested and allow them to interact with it, To be part of the process of setting priorities and managing the government services sector that takes care of their affairs.

In line with the global trend towards digitizing services in cities, Governments are launching national plans to promote the effective harnessing and management of technology and make data available to citizens and institutions to benefit from it. Today, data is the primary factor in developing visions and designing the services and projects that governments provide to their citizens in line with their changing needs.

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the need for governments for innovative ways to meet the needs and expectations of citizens. Where it changed the shape of public life with all its joints, It pushed people to adopt different daily habits imposed by social distancing measures, such as keeping people away from public and crowded transportation and adopting new habits such as walking or cycling. Besides, It has become clear that governments must start working on post-pandemic policies and find ways to adapt to the "new normal".

In Glasgow, The local government has developed the so-called "Glasgow Digital Strategy". It includes objectives related to the use of digital technology to transform the government services sector and develop the city's economy. In order to achieve this endeavor, A new open data platform has been launched that contains updated sets of data and interactive applications and others that present city data in the form of simplified "stories" to the public. It is currently divided into 38 groups related to city hall buildings, fine notices, coordinates of school gatherings, etc. For example, in the field of transport, This updated data reviews trends among city residents such as cycling and walking. It also highlights the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on mobility patterns.

In parallel, The project offers other applications in which city datasets are included, It presents it in the form of information with drawings, three-dimensional digital models and even maps, And through them, Users can see road conditions, bike lane availability, and COVID-19 data by neighborhood or region. For example, Recently released open data showed a decrease in cycling in the city center. The lockdown measures imposed in 2020 caused a 20% drop in rider traffic. The numbers slowly picked up again over the following year. In the same vein, The data monitored the increasing rate of demand for the downtown area, This follows the easing of restrictions in the summer.

It is worth mentioning that the technical team of the project plans to make as much data as possible downloadable using popular download applications, Including those that rely on open source. The online platform also uses technologies developed by the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) and relies on Glasgow's experience with the COVID-19 pandemic as a reference to build on. Work has been done to develop analysis and screening tools to monitor infected people.

In addition The platform provides its subscribers with the interactive feature, so that they can employ the information they receive to contribute to decision-making, and in understanding how to change the shape of government services using data. Through this feature, authorities and citizens can prioritize new investments or discuss necessary changes to the city's infrastructure or public facilities.

In the future, The government plans to disseminate extensive information on its basic services, In order to encourage those concerned to follow the same efforts, This means collecting data from various sources from the private sector, other government bodies, academia and community members. In the coming months, the project will expand to include more data related to mobility and use of local facilities such as shops and parks, as well as data on educational facilities and activities to help parents and social care providers.

As for updating the platform in the next phase, Image analysis technology collected by the city's network of cameras and analysis of smartphone data related to mobility will be included. which can be accessed by authorities in collaboration with the University of Glasgow's Urban Data Centre.

Legally, The government has ensured that the data is published in accordance with the instructions stipulated in the Open Government Data Licensing Document, Maps will be implemented using the Common Map of Scotland Agreement (OSMA), an agreement that allows all government agencies in Scotland to use a range of digital tools for modern mapping.

The most important feature of the interactive platform lies in providing city data and presenting it to the community and institutions in a simplified manner, through the use of "Stories". This transforms static data into easy-to-understand interactive scenes, This supports innovation and contributes to the development of government services.

The open data platform also provides an opportunity to increase the participation of residents, business owners and innovators in public life. By providing an in-depth look at all its details and enabling them to play a real role in its decision-making, It is the fair approach that the authorities seek to adopt with their citizens in Glasgow.

More broadly, This project will engage the public in addressing current and future global challenges such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.


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