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Kansas City rolls out online map using traffic, parking data from sensors

Matt Hamblen | Feb. 8, 2017
In demo, Alexa tells which buses in town are running late

The city is also beginning to work with Cisco Spark, a team messaging and video-calling tool, to help city workers use data on real-time transit and traffic delays to improve response times to problem areas. The city is also testing an algorithm built by Xaqt that analyzes city data to predict when an aging building will be vacant to efficiently coordinate city inspections.

Bennett said that as the smart city infrastructure expands, the city will use the data to drive decisions that save taxpayers money with more efficient repairs and maintenance of city streets, water lines and other city infrastructure. The city owns all the data and will migrate it to the city’s Open Data Catalog.

Chris Crosby, CEO of Xaqt, said the interactive map along the streetcar route is “just the start of the city becoming a data and information service provider.”

Such data can become an economic analysis tool and a planning guide for public safety as well as public education expansion and improvements, Crosby said.

“What we have done today is a start, and now there is an appetite to use this data for civic growth,” Bennett said.

In the next several months, the city will increase its data presentations and expand the sensor network, Bennett said. One concept being explored is to introduce sophisticated listening sensors that can detect gunshots, similar to what New York has done with Shotspotter technology, he said. New York has begun to expand that technology, finding it has been effective in faster responses to crime.

Kansas City’s methods for using big data to solve city problems may help officials with the National Institute of Standards and Technology set standards and best practices for big data use, including protecting personal privacy, the city said in a statement.

Bennett said NIST officials joined a workshop in Kansas City this week with officials from 18 other cities and several federal agencies to share ideas for using smart tech to solve city problems. “We are sharing what we have learned with them,” he said.


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