An increasing number of businesses are using location intelligence. This innovative area has seen exponential growth and becomes crucial for Smart Cities' development. The second edition of "Smart City Futures" events organized by CityAge revealed what place location intelligence takes in the digital infrastructure of smart cities.

What is Location Intelligence?

Location intelligence allows to collect, analyze, and organize spatial data using various geographical information systems (GIS) tools. Its insights help to understand human movement patterns, analyze historical events, identify impact factors and predict trends.

Nowadays, location intelligence has multiple uses, and both the public and private sectors can leverage its benefits. Smart cities is one of the prime applications of location intelligence.

How Location Intelligence Helps to Build Smart Cities

The IESE Business School of the University of Navarra has defined nine main dimensions for the Cities in Motion Index (CIMI). The following criteria are used to evaluate the development of cities. They are human capital, social cohesion, economy, environment, governance, urban planning, international outreach, technology, mobility, and transportation.

In the 2019 edition, which includes 165 cities in 80 countries, the IESE’s top three smartest global cities, based on these criteria, were London, New York, and Amsterdam. Some of these nine dimensions are directly related to location intelligence and location insights.

Photo by CHUTTERSNAP

Environment

Analyzing location data allows to better design living infrastructure, parking places, or intersection with the lowest possible environmental impact. Moreover, location intelligence can be used to react quickly and more efficiently during natural disaster events and significantly reduce damages.

Urban Planning

By incorporating the location intelligence into the urban planning, it becomes possible to develop infrastructure tailored to the citizens’ needs, with that improving the livability of the city. Besides, location data help to optimize cost structure and prioritize projects run by the city administration.

Technology

Public networks and connected infrastructure availability raises some critical questions during any smart city planning. Where to install Wi-Fi hot spots? Where to install connected lighting systems first? How to distribute technology related budget across several districts? Location insights help to find answers to these questions. With the right data it's possible to increase technological functionality of smart cities and offer innovative and sustainable benefits to their citizens.

Mobility and Transport

The analysis of location data in smart cities allows city planners to improve viability, better optimize transportation systems, plan future mobility projects, and provide more effective and faster solutions. Location data analytics can easily show answers to the following questions: What is the difference in the traffic patterns during the winter and summer? Which public transportation routes are overloaded? When are the peak times of the public transportation during the school season? What happens if certain roads are blocked?

Learn how Stantec won the 2019 Gold Award for Excellence in Transportation Planning leveraging location data.

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By now, many cities are running projects and initiatives to become smarter, and location intelligence is now a key factor in achieving this goal and create a better environment.