Esri’s hub model and technology serves as a launching point for cities looking to become smart communities
The City of Long Beach, California, has introduced a new web portal making the city’s geospatial analytics data available online to the public for the first time.
The new DataLB hub, powered by geographic information systems (GIS) software provider Esri’s technology, reveals city data that was previously only accessible to government staff.
According to Esri, its hub model serves as a launching point for cities looking to become smart communities. City data is displayed in maps and make information “easily discoverable and shareable” between departments over the web.
“DataLB will make huge amounts of city data accessible to the public, staff, and anyone who is interested in learning about or improving our community,” said Robert Garcia, mayor of Long Beach. “Long Beach is doing more than just making data public; we are actually making it easy for people to see data in maps and use the site and apps to track public works projects, open new businesses, and find other resources.”
Also, the portal contains an open data section that enables anyone to map and create visual reports of whatever data they want, such as the rate of homelessness in certain areas.
“Providing data online is not a new concept in government,” said Bryan Sastokas, chief information officer, Long Beach. “[We]want to drive beyond presenting data online, and our DataLB hub is an innovative approach that allows the public to operationalise data, making it more useful to the community and building on the city’s commitment to transparency.”
“Anyone looking to use and benefit from the open data on a government portal needs one place where these resources are accessible and organised and -- most importantly -- applied to real city initiatives,” added Christopher Thomas, director of government markets at Esri.
“DataLB provides an easy-to-navigate resource where organisations and local software developers can access data at no cost, download it, and share insight with the community or build new applications that address cross-cutting community priorities. Because this information is constantly updated, people will now be better informed about the decisions they make, whether determining the site of a new coffee shop or finding out how to effectively allocate volunteer personnel.”
Esri claims its software is used in more than 350,000 organisations worldwide including each of the 200 largest cities in the US, most national governments, more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities.
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The hub isn’t restricted to public data but allows private data to be accessed through a direct connection with the provider