Researchers from Maynooth University have launched a new online resource that will let citizens, businesses and policy makers access information about the city in an unprecedented way. The Cork Dashboard allows users to monitor a huge range of public data at a glance - from real-time traffic and weather information to air quality and crime levels - all in one place and free of charge. You can visit the Cork Dashboard at www.corkdashboard.ie.
The Cork Dashboard is a product of the Building City Dashboards Project based at the National Centre for Geocomputation at Maynooth University. The project, created in partnership with Cork City and County Councils and Cork Smart Gateways, is funded by Science Foundation Ireland.
The goal of a city dashboard, according to Principal Investigator and Maynooth Professor Rob Kitchin, is to provide the public and policymakers with easy access to vital information about their city in order to empower more informed decision-making. Professor Kitchin says: “The decisions that the Cork Dashboard will help people make run the gamut from a commuter checking road temperatures to avoid icy roads on their drive to work to a policy maker identifying where to target vital services. Our goal is to make as much useful information as possible available to the public and decision-makers, all for free and all at the tip of your fingers.”
The website draws information from a number of data providers including the local authorities, Transport Infrastructure Ireland, the Central Statistics Office and a number of government departments. The number of real-time, interactive maps and data-sets give users the ability to track changes in Cork as they happen.
The launch of the Cork Dashboard was welcomed by members of both the Cork City and County Councils. Commenting on the launch, Ann Doherty, Chief Executive, Cork City Council said: “We welcome the addition of the Cork Open Data Dashboard which makes a significant contribution to enhancing our smart ecosystem. This dashboard is an excellent example of strong collaboration between academia and local authorities resulting in a valuable resource for everyone in Cork. We are committed to fully supporting and utilising the dashboard to drive new innovations, empower citizens, and enable better decision making.”
Mayor of Cork County, Cllr. Declan Hurley, congratulated all involved in delivering this project and considered that the user-friendly, interactive, data visualisations will provide the general public and policy makers, the private sector and academics with valuable real-time information, time-series indicator data, and interactive maps about all aspects of Cork.
While the potential applications for the Cork Dashboards will be as varied as the people that use it, below is a list of some of the more common applications that the Building City Dashboards Project team expect to see:
- Cork Citizens: Individuals can use the Dashboard to plan their commute, to compare property prices and planning permission information and even report issues such as broken street lights and potholes to local authorities.
- Public Officials: The Dashboard collates a huge number of data sets that provide public officials with a valuable and up-to-the-minute insight into Cork life, allowing them to review vital statistics such as prevalence of crime, health data and pollution levels, making city planning more efficient and effective.
- Foreign Direct Investment: By providing visual representations for cost of living and economic performance, the Dashboard will be a valuable tool both for companies who are considering investing in Cork and for advocacy groups like the IDA.
- Tourism: The amount of information available on the Cork Dashboard will let potential visitors plan their trip with greater ease and in more detail than ever before, allowing them to check transport options, hotel availability and bathing water quality on Cork beaches.
Over the next two years, the amount of data available on the Dashboard will expand to allow for even more monitoring services to include, for example, the ability to quickly assess areas for flood risk.
The Dashboard will further be developed in time to allow users to self-identify as policy-makers, private citizens, law enforcement, etc., and to interact with the data in virtual and augmented reality.
5 things you can do right now on the Cork Dashboard
1. Find a parking space Avoid getting caught out in the Christmas shopping rush with an interactive real-time map that locates any free parking spaces in the area. The same map will tell you how many City Bikes and bike stands are currently available.
2. Monitor the demand for social housing in the area You can see the level of demand for social housing through data drawn from the All-Island Research Observatory (AIRO). You can filter the data by the amount of time spent on the waiting list, the age of the applicant and category of need for housing. You can also report vacant houses to the Rebuilding Ireland – Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness.
3. Get some fresh air You can make sure you’re getting the most out of your evening jog by monitoring the air quality levels in Cork on a real-time map. The same map will also tell you the current temperature and water levels throughout the region.
4. Compare Cork Cork residents have been favourably comparing their home to other Irish towns and cities since time immemorial and now they can access evidence to back up their claims with an index that charts enterprise and employment, health and wellness and other vital statistics.
5. Go on crime watch The Recorded Crime Monitoring Tool allows you filter crime statistics by offence, date and region.