Smart cities taking off with big data

One of the most intriguing uses of data analytics and Hadoop big data tools has been the development of smart cities. By analyzing data gathered from a number of sources ranging from environmental sensors and traffic data, researchers can discern the most effective ways to operate a metropolitan district and improve the quality of living for its denizens. Interest in the field has steadily increased and is expected to continue to do so for the foreseeable future. According to report released by Global Information, the smart city technology market is predicted to grow from last year's $6.1 billion mark to $20.2 billion by 2020.

 Many European cities have already invested heavily in the burgeoning technology and the results are beginning to roll in. IT PRO reported that Glasgow, Scotland, was recently selected to provide the first demonstration of the U.K.'s "Future Cities" project. The metropolis will consolidate more than 200 data feeds pertaining to various aspects of city life for businesses and academic researchers to access and extract insight. City officials hope to use the network to address issues including crime prevention, traffic and government-provided services.

Making traffic more bearable with big data
The U.K.'s Technology Strategy Board intends to expand the program to three other cities, including London. There, officials will use big data tools to generate a 3D map of utility services across the four boroughs in East London. In addition, the program will launch an automated system to handle road works enquiries. Using predictive analytics solutions, the city will be able to provide residents with accurate travel times based on both real-time data and historical trends. The system will also help reduce the number of traffic jams caused by roadwork or utility service crews. Those companies and service providers will be able to better coordinate their schedules so as to reduce the negative impact of their work as much as possible. The increased efficiency from these projects is expected to save the city over $8.5 million each year.

The other two cities chosen to serve in the program, Petersborough and Bristol, have different visions for their big data solutions. Bristol officials plan to leverage data analytics tools to enhance public services, while Petersborough will use its funding to further environmental technology research.

Enterprises across the globe are continually finding new ways to take advantage of big data solutions. Improving the quality of life for residents of major cities is one of many promising applications. With Hadoop big data tools, city officials can determine the most effective ways to manage and improve services.

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