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Smart Cambridge boost as GeoSpock adds big data component

Some of the smart city components which require consideration and investment
Some of the smart city components which require consideration and investment

Cambridge took a significant step towards becoming a smart city avatar this month as Smart Cambridge struck a partnership with big data specialist GeoSpock to unlock the siloed information which underpins a data-first smart city strategy.

The data – harvested from digital records around the city on CCTV, from scientific measuring devices, from all relevant digital assets – will be fed into GeoSpock’s spatial big data platform. From there it will be curated to provide analytics, build insight, and enable predictions across space and time.

The initiative will see the Smart Cambridge team utilise GeoSpock’s spatial big data platform – which processes data at speed and scale, generating spatial and temporal insights – to develop a data-first smart city strategy. The initiative will democratise data from physical assets to enable better decision-making by providing greater contextual understanding and delivering a single origin of data truth.

This will support the work of the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) and bring tangible benefits to the lives of residents, businesses and visitors, including improvements to traffic flow and citizen mobility, as well as to environmental initiatives and the future planning of the city.

Richard Baker, GeoSpock CEO, said: “We’re thrilled to be embarking on this partnership to showcase how GeoSpock’s technology can develop the city’s future smart ecosystem.”

Richard Baker, GeoSpock CEO, is expanding the company's links with smart city projects around the country. Picture: Keith Heppell
Richard Baker, GeoSpock CEO, is expanding the company's links with smart city projects around the country. Picture: Keith Heppell

Describing how the smart city project can be underpinned by GeoSpock's big data platform, Mr Baker described how everything and everyone moving around a city provides information which can be used to alleviate pollution, cut journey times and prepare the ground for the self-driving era.

"So say I'm driving a van into town to do a delivery, and connecting into various mobile providers, and I'm linked to base station 1, which could be Vodafone, and then I head for base station 4, where O2 is the provider.

"So we bring the billing records and SMS records behind the digital traffic from those base stations, then we add valuable data such as postcodes, the weather, IoT data... we're building pictures, and where it gets interesting is the connectivity to vehicles, so we can produce a predictive service for the customer. There's a whole host of great strategies for cities around the world, for instance in Singapore, in South East Asia and in Japan. The question is what is the future of an urban environment going to look like, how the digitisation of services will unfold."

The way it's headed is that data will increasingly be harvested around the city from "wifi, wireless, LAMs, Bluetooth, 4G or 5G connectivity, and the siloed infrastructure of IoT". The data-gathering will be accelerated as street lighting becomes digitised - first with LED lights, then with sensors.

"A lot of people are worried about carbon footprints, about pollution. How do they get on top of emissions? Plus there's movement of people, buses and vehicles moving in and out of city centres, along with general themes around cost management, such as lowering the cost of the lighting network. Sodium is out and LED is in, with smart lights part of the move.

"If you want to allow city mobility to work - which might mean self-driving buses, electric cars and priority for buses - the data from the street lighting technology feeds into our spatial big data platforms."

Claire Ruskin, executive board member for the Greater Cambridge Partnership, and CEO of Cambridge Network, comments: “GeoSpock’s spatial big data platform is extremely impressive and I’m eager to see the successes we can achieve together. This is an exciting new relationship for the Greater Cambridge Partnership that will provide a digital platform to support the transport infrastructure investments taking place in our region. By bringing together data that is currently locked in separate silos, Smart Cambridge will be able to input into decisions that enhance people’s access between homes and daily destinations, optimise traffic flow, and reduce CO2 emissions.”

GeoSpock aims to become the de facto processing engine at the heart of next-generation infrastructure, including smart cities and the Internet of Everything (IoE), as well as powering future mobility applications, including the management of autonomous vehicle fleets. The company’s revolutionary data engine analyses extreme amounts of contextual data in sub-second response time. The company expects to sign other smart city partnerships around the country this year.

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