One of the challenges facing many cities seeking to share the mountains of data they collect between departments, other government agencies and/or with private developers is that their data isn't available in an accessible form that that can be easily used and reused.
At the request of the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the British Standards Institution (BSI) has developed a new guide to data interoperability -- PAS182 – to help public and private sector organizations more easily share data in a smart city environment.
By enabling existing data and resources in a city to be shared effectively, a longer term vision of city planning and development can be taken, BSI points out. That's why cities need agreements between organizations regarding data handling and technical infrastructure. This will allow information generated in the city to be directed and utilized to support both the day-to-day management of the city and long-term plans.
In a statement on its website, BSI said: "Data can transform the capability of a city, enabling the development of systems and services, and supporting informed decisions. However, decision-makers and citizens are unlikely to have the necessary expertise to decipher this data, which is often labelled using language and terms from the originating sector, but forms a barrier with other sectors. PAS 182 addresses this lack of interoperability by defining an overarching model of concepts and relationships that can be used to describe data from any sector."
Developed in collaboration with Glasgow City Council, London Borough of Redbridge, Peterborough City Council and others, BSI says the benefits of PAS 182 include:
- Reduced cost as the need to recollect and verify data is removed
- Integrated city systems and services driven by data
- Common understanding of the needs of communities
- Shared objectives, collaboratively developed and evidenced using data
- Businesses/communities creating innovation and improved quality of life for citizens
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