Glasgow City Council has launched an open data hub to help promote its smart city efforts.

Visitors from as far afield as Brazil, San Francisco and Boston were among an audience of academics, entrepreneurs and service providers who attended the launch of the data hub this week at Glasgow Science Centre.

Glasgow City Council has pledged to make all of its non-sensitive and non-personal information freely and openly available. Image credit: Glasgow City Council

With almost 400 data sets, the hub is designed to “paint a living and breathing picture” of life in the city. It gives citizens, businesses, communities and decision-makers open access to the latest information on everything from pass rates at different driving test centres, to the location of bike racks and footfall in retail areas.

Glasgow says it is also joining the Internet of Things by connecting its new intelligent street lights and traffic sensors to the city data hub. Intelligent street lights fitted with sensors are being installed at three sites in the city including the Clyde Walkway. The lights are fitted with sensors which will gather information such as footfall and traffic flow. This information will be sent back to the city data hub where it will be freely available to view.

Councillor Gordon Matheson, leader of Glasgow City Council and chair of Future City Glasgow, said: "This data hub is a fascinating piece of technology which empowers citizens by giving them easy access to a vast range of information about their city. It also offers huge potential whether you are a entrepreneur looking for new premises, residents hoping to set up a community energy project or an IT developer looking to create an innovative new product.”

Glasgow City Council has pledged to make all of its non-sensitive and non-personal information freely and openly available. Glasgow residents can also contribute their own local knowledge via online mapping tools and a suite of apps such as Future City Glasgow's cycling and energy apps.

The hub was developed in partnership with Microsoft UK. Derrick McCourt, director of UK public sector at Microsoft UK, said: "This hub is world leading and its potential is immensely exciting. It puts Glasgow on track to have a real end-to-end Internet of Things capability which will provide insight into the operations of the city.” The data hub is powered by the Microsoft Azure cloud.

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