How metropolis of the future is going to affect the Big Data?

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Managing all the information through data logging is revolutionizing the world. The Big Data is useful for the design of cities more inclusive and more efficient government with its policies, thus large urban developments add sensors and real-time information about their citizens, which brings great benefits but also doubts about their privacy.

More than two thirds of the population now lives in urban areas. Cities are places where problems arise and solutions are found. They are a fertile ground for science and technology, culture and innovation, for individual and collective creativity, and also to mitigate the impact of climate change. However, cities are also places where it requires a lot of technology to aid in their best performance, as citizens we are watched all the time, which makes us participants in the big brother Social Media Marketinginvoluntarily., As currently Police looking through a panel that receives images from security cameras installed in the big cities.

In 2010 the chief executive (CEO) of Google Eric Schmidt said that the amount of data collected since the dawn of humanity until 2003 was the equivalent of the volume that we produce every other day now.

It may not bother us the idea of ​​living in a smart city, but it sure tods would love to live in one that was happy.

The information to measure the happiness of a city can be measured by means of the “tweets” that ship every time and we share profiles on Facebook; and increasingly, the data is being captured and analyzed to measure the health and happiness of a nation.

The Hedonometer project (such as a system for measuring hedonism) was proposed this year to create maps of the levels of happiness in the cities of the United States from data obtained from the social network Twitter.


With 37 million geolocated tweets of more than 180,000 people in the United States, the team at Advanced Computing Center at the University of Vermont evaluated words, whether happy or sad.

In addition to discovering that people were happier when it was further away from home, the study found some interesting facts about how they had good health.

He found words like ‘starving’ and ‘heartburn’ that were written much more often in cities with a high percentage of obese citizens.

These data may be useful for local governments, to stay informed on what policies are required in a given area.

Cities that seek to understand the changes in the behavior of its citizens, for example, to place ads public health programs can use social media to get real-time, said Chris Danforth, one of the project leaders .

Data Overload

This data is not only taken from messages in social networks, mobile phone signals and purchase transactions, but with increasing frequency is obtained from the sensors on objects from lampposts skyscrapers.

The so-called ‘Internet of Things’ offers a new way of analyzing and measuring the life of the city. Since if the water pipes are leaking fluid or how is the traffic on the roads. Even buildings are already using energy more efficiently.

A prediction of the architect, urban planner and professor Mike Batty in 1997 that in 2050 all that surround us would like some type of computer is already beginning to be realized.

In Norway, more than 40,000 bus stops tweeting, which allows passengers to write messages about their experiences. In London, the mayor’s office has begun a project to tag trees for people to learn their history.

However, the amount of data recorded is so huge, that a city can handle impossible task.

For example, the British supermarket chain Tesco recorded in one of their stores about 70 million records in a year after installing sensors in the cooling systems to reduce costs of heating and lighting.

And that, in this case, the sole purpose was to manage the coolers more efficiently.

But if you moved to a city, such as collecting data transport systems, utilities, garbage disposal, hospitals, schools, and government offices, the scale of the problem is evident.

The city

The computer design company Autodesk has been working with San Francisco, Vancouver and Bamberg in southern Germany, to create 3D visualizations on which the government can overlay data sets to see how the city works anytime.

The presentation of the data in these new forms has had surprising consequences.

In Germany, we have used the model to show people what kind of impact would a new railway line.

‘It was almost like a game environment. People could see it in his iPad and zoom in and move around the model, ‘said Phil Bernstein, vice president of industry relations for Autodesk.

Previously, all who wanted to participate in the planning of the city would have to make a trip to City Hall to review the maps. If made with a greater visual impact, could revolutionize the way cities are built, says Bernstein.

‘It is a political act and a technical act. This makes the decision process more transparent and democratic, more inclusive design process, “he concludes.

Towards Big Brother?

Like it or not, we are already beginning to interact with our cities, either through text message offering you a 20% discount on purchases from the store that just happened, either applications with location sensors on our smart phones that tell us what cafe is the closest.

In this development, the question of how data is used arises. If we find it useful to share all our information to have a more comfortable life or prefer to keep our privacy to not feel constantly watched.

‘My phone knows that normally work until 17:30 and you know the next bus I should take before I look. It’s starting to run my life, “said Andrew Hudson-Smith, who heads the Center for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London.

‘I could turn it off but I do not because I find it very useful, but basically I’m giving it all to Google. It’s great, but scary at the same time and change the way the world works, “he said.

His laboratory has been at the forefront of some major data collection projects, and although he sees tremendous value to researchers, while recognizing that poses enormous ethical problems.

We can record every tweet. People have accepted those terms, but do not realize that everything you share online can be collected. We could be walking blindly into a surveillance society 24 hours.

Nick Pickles, director of privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch, agrees that large volumes of data can become the ‘Big Brother’.

‘The basic functionality of a smart city requires a large amount of data to be collected in every aspect of our lives every minute of every day. The question is, how these data are used? And it requires no great imagination to see how it could be used to control people in much the same way Big Brother ‘he admitted.

Carlo Ratti believes the issue has enormous implications for society and that is going to need a serious debate.

In conclusion we can say that we have to define how we want our future society work, but it is a discussion that goes beyond smart cities basically are building a digital copy of our physical world and this has profound consequences.

In any project studied, analyzed, reviewed and improved. Each project is defined with the client to determine their objectives and required functionality, but Conception will always add something new. Each project is unique and individual, bespoke and as such is unique, exclusive, we invite you to visit us and prepare to adapt to the changes that the near future holds.

Thomas James

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