Data Visualization Challenge

Using open data to reveal trends on urban mobility in India cities

Using publicly released data to create data visualizations that shed light on mobility trends in Indian cities. Graphic by Surasti Puri

In order to encourage more cities to open their data, Institute of Urban Transport along with EMBARQ India launched a Data Visualization Challenge last year that offered a slice of raw transport data to citizens and gave them an opportunity to interpret this data in the form of an infographic.

Considering the market size and geography of India, opening government data can radically improve how people move in cities. Crowdsourcing and public participation can help in correcting or reducing the inconsistencies in current data sets. Appropriate standards and formats for managing databases can help transit agencies, and will also be useful for entrepreneurs to bring innovation to the urban mobility sector. Although some transit agencies in India such as DIMTS and BMTC have created passenger information systems to offer real-time information, their platforms are not interactive and their data is still not open.

The emergence of companies like OlaCabs and Traffline is paving the road for innovative enterprises. Open data can further this by creating a more supportive environment for mobility startups. It can also make urban mobility a more attractive sector for investor and corporations. These two factors combine to create an ecosystem that catalyzes entrepreneurship in urban mobility, ultimately making it safer and easier to move around our cities.

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