Digital maps and the associated technology for building maps has significantly advanced over recent years. Two dimensional paper maps have been replaced by smart devices that render both 2D maps & 3D maps.
Digital maps are already annotated with important information about how to drive the road network more effectively. Meanwhile, ADAS products provide information about curvature of the roads and elevation. Today’s trucking companies use this important information to significantly reduce fuel use and extend the life of their vehicles.
Maps are now morphing from a rendering that we have to study to personal companions that to assist us in our everyday mobility needs. They are being updated in real-time with additional annotations that are crowd sourced or collected from the smart devices themselves. Vehicle data will provide sensors that help us understand braking and acceleration patterns, and how weather impacts driving behaviors. This will help us develop new insights into how people drive. Furthermore, IoT will provide even more information on mobility patterns.
This is going to create massive data lakes, requiring resources to deliver, store and analyze it. It will require new approaches to data analytics and new computational frameworks to reduce the complexity and redundancy. Computation will be distributed throughout the entire network, with devices and network cells providing spatial computation elements that can be aggregated at a higher level in the cloud.
To make it useful, we will have to start looking at context, where context is a function of your state, your preferences and your hyperlocal environment.
The ecosystems are starting to form, but it is a confluence now of many groups – both public and private. As open data comes from cities, generated by people and things, it becomes necessary to take a holistic approach to merging policy, technology and social needs. In the meantime, we have a huge challenge to manage these large data lakes, turn them into valuable insights and deliver that value back to the community, thereby helping to build desirable, livable cities.
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