GOV INSIDER: FOUR WAYS GOVERNMENTS ARE USING DATA VISUALISATIONS
This article highlights four different ways governments across the world are utilizing data visualizations to look for smart policy solutions for their constituents. In New York City, data is collected from guns recovered from crime scenes to track their movement across the country. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare is using data visualization to inform health and welfare policies. The European Environment Agency is tracking individual pollutants across all 28 member states to measure air quality standards over a period of more than ten years. And in Medellin, Colombia, the government is using data visualization to track its progress on the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
STATE SCOOP: D.C.’S LATEST APP CHALLENGE TAKES ON PUBLIC SAFETY
D.C. officials announced an open challenge to develop applications that utilize 5G wireless technology to address public health and safety issues late last month. Winners will receive up to $20,000 provided by the civic-tech nonprofit organization U.S. Ignite in the DCx contest. Officials are looking for entries that will eventually be used by the D.C. Police Department, Fire and Emergency Medical Services, Health Department or its office that focuses exclusively on serving low-income neighborhoods.
VIA Metropolitan Transit in San Antonio is updating its data storage capabilities to speed up its transit processes. The new storage, known as FlashArray and provided by the company Pure Storage, allows the more than 500 buses in the transit system to communicate their location on the region’s streets and highways every 10 seconds versus every 30 seconds as they did previously. To report hundreds of bus locations every 10 seconds will require significant data storage improvements; and the amount of data streaming in could grow by as much as four times, requiring the transit agency to sort through it faster.
Transport for London (TfL) is going to start collecting data anonymously through its wi-fi from customers phones as they move throughout the city. After a pilot program in 2016, in which TfL collected data from 5.6 mobile devices, the agency realized the data could be utilized to improve customer service. Examples of the improvements include deploying staff to certain areas, adding posters or retail shops along crowded routes, and improving users’ journey planning by warning them of overcrowded stations.
A group of experts released a blueprint for a secure hybrid cloud architecture that would help cities of different sizes and technical capacity build smart cities. The cloud architecture supports confidentiality, access control, and the protection of personally identifiable information (PII). This blueprint comes after ransomware attacks created chaos in Baltimore and experts state a secure cloud architecture can automate processes to enhance security and minimize risk of such attacks happening in the future.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) appointed its first director of artificial intelligence, Gil Alterovitz, to expand the use of AI in agency care and research. The VA is already using AI to reduce wait times for health appointments and scan veterans’ medical records to evaluate suicide risk. Within the VA, AI has the capacity to instantaneously comb through hundreds of thousands of records containing countless data points to decipher how veterans with individual conditions and genetic variations respond to different medications.