Here are some more examples for the technology use of governments:
In England, with the collaboration of University College of London and the transit agency behind the London tube, a smart card system has been built. This system enables researchers to gather data on the journeys of travelers to understand the complex dance of the metro system. The question you could ask would be “what about privacy?” The answer is, customer data privacy has been assured to be protected.
How is this data beneficial? Well, analysts can determine the patterns of travelers when mechanical problems are encountered to slow trains on particular lines or if there are other technical problems, which eventually helps agency to better act upon the transportation issues that might be a bottleneck in an unexpected situation.
Mexican Government has implemented a program called “AlertImpact” to be able to control H1N1 flu outbreak in 2009. This initiative helped Mexican Government to take actions to prevent from the spreading of this epidemic disease nationwide, by taking certain preventive actions such as raising a medical alert.
How does this work? Well, this system uses cell phone data of Mexican citizens to estimate their social patterns and their mobility. A similar approach could actually be useful for Saudis to prevent from Corona Virus
3) Urban Life:
This one is one of my favorite because of the fact that it is super creative!
Obviously, governments want to take advantage of the social empowerment of citizens, which triggers the rise of “voluntary” activities. Office of New Urban Mechanics, Boston has released “Adopt a Hydrant” app, which allows citizens or businesses to shovel out hydrants when it snows. Since it snows a lot in Boston, this app can actually save lives, and it does that with a fun way: By imposing ownership and responsibility feelings to citizens.
More than 13.000 hydrants are mapped in the program. The volunteer citizens get notification once their hydrant is buried under snow. Isn’t it cool?
There is also a similar app which was released by New Urban Mechanics, Boston itself, called “Adopt a sidewalk“. I think it is easy to guess what that app works for.
4) Another example for transportation:
An environment-friendly example would be great to see among transportation examples, right? Well here you go: reroute.it
Reroute.it is a website that can calculate the environmental impact of your transportation preferences through an application. It has a very simple interface: You just insert point A (your departure) and point B (your arrival) and it shows you the money and the time you will spend, as well as the CO2 you will cause. It can also give you directions from google and bing.
This article is the last piece of my series of “how can governments use technology to ease citizens’ lives”. I hope you enjoyed.. Please send me an e-mail if you want to know more about this specific area, as I have more information and more examples to provide 🙂
Image source: Flickr