Data-Smart City Solutions, a civic data project at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School, highlights local government data visualization and mapping work through its Map of the Month initiative. One recent smart city map example is the Kansas City Digital Inclusion Map, an interactive visualization of Internet speed across Kansas City, Missouri, that can help the city achieve its goal of connecting all residents.
According to the Data-Smart City Solutions website, Kansas City worked with Xaqt to overlay fixed broadband deployment data from Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Form 477 filings by Internet service providers with Census poverty data and real-time data on regional transit broadband speeds.
By uncovering relationships between connectivity and poverty, the resulting data visualization enables those working to improve digital inclusion:
- City departments can work together and help focus local resources that increase digital inclusion
- Organizations can use the map to see where residents lack high-speed Internet connection and improve digital education and advocacy in those areas
- Residents can see which parts of the city have access to high-speed connections
“We wanted to bring more city departments into the conversation about digital inclusion,” said Rick Usher, assistant to the city manager for small business.
Kansas City continues to add layers, including the locations of computer centers and libraries, and details on educational achievements and public health outcomes of connectivity.
The Harvard program seeks smart city map examples that “illustrate, enhance understanding of or solve a complex problem faced by the public sector.”
The program’s goal is to catalyze adoption of data projects on the local government level by serving as a central resource on civic data initiatives. All units of government within the United States (federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial) and nonprofits may participate and submit their smart city map.