Our Digital World Exhibition Showcases Power Of Big Data
28 Jun 2016
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) launched the ‘Our Digital World’ exhibition at the Urban Lab today. Officiated by Minister for National Development Mr Lawrence Wong, the exhibition explores how government, academia, industry and the public make use of data, innovative analytics and modelling technology to enhance planning processes to better meet people’s needs.
The exhibition ties back to Urban Lab’s aim to bring R&D out of the labs and into the public realm to foster learning and collaboration between government, academia, industry and public.
LEVERAGING THE POWER OF THE DIGITAL ERA
‘Our Digital World’ showcases innovative projects that harness, share and apply geospatial technologies and big data in creative ways to drive improvements in public services. The use of these technologies is not exclusive to government and big organisations. Ground-up initiatives which tap these technologies to provide solutions and build relationships within the community are also showcased.
The Urban Lab exhibition series started in 2015. The current exhibition, which is the fourth edition, is divided into several themes, including protection of data, connecting people and places, potential of information for city planning, modelling our comfort, sensing the city, and empowering the community.
Visitors will hear first-hand accounts of the pivotal role data plays in land use and infrastructure planning; learn how big data analytics and digital planning tools can help planners better plan and design the built environment; and find out how data sharing and geospatial technology can help bring communities together. Examples include enlisting members of public to give first aid to cardiac arrest patients, delivering bread to the needy, and even forming neighbourhood teams to take part in events.
Visitors can also check out a series of maps created by overlaying and stitching together different datasets using GIS technology, and experience an immersive virtual reality experience of downtown Singapore by trying a demo developed by Bandai Namco Studios Singapore. Refer to Annex A (160kb) for highlights of the exhibition.
DATA ANALYTICS IN PLANNING
The use of digital technology in everyday life generates useful information for policy formulation, customer profiling and performance measurement. These have potential applications for the public, private and people sectors.
There is potential in the field of big data analytics, scenario modelling and spatial visualisation to enhance planners’ capabilities. URA is leveraging geographical information system (GIS) technology, big data analytics and digital modelling tools to enhance planning analysis, better integrate planning work across agencies, and better anticipate and respond to ground needs. These digital tools will make it easier for planners to visualise, simulate and test plans for different scenarios, generate options for further evaluation, and gain a clearer understanding of the outcomes and implications of different plans.
Some modelling and simulation tools in predictive analytics are still in the realm of research. The exhibition will showcase selected ongoing research projects between URA and research institutes, including the Future Cities Laboratory of the Singapore-ETH Centre and A*STAR’s Institute of High Performance Computing. Planners are experimenting with these tools and where feasible, incorporate them into the planning process.
Mr Ng Lang, Chief Executive Officer of the URA, said: “At the core, the planning fundamentals have not changed. However, advancements in geospatial and data technologies have ushered in exciting possibilities to improve the way we plan. The new digital planning tools we are developing are helping to provide better insights in planning, coordinate our work better across agencies, and improve work productivity.”
The development and use of such digital planning tools contribute to Singapore’s Smart Nation drive, which seeks to harness infocomm technologies, networks and data to improve lives, strengthen communities and create more economic opportunities. The government lays a good foundation by putting in place infrastructure, encouraging innovation by sharing real time data in the public domain, and facilitating co-creation by industry and the public with the government to improve the lives of citizens.
Over the next few weeks, Urban Lab will hold talks where members of public can learn more about some of the projects and tools showcased in the exhibition.
‘Our Digital World’ will run from 28 June to 17 September 2016 at the URA Centre Atrium. Admission is free. More details on Urban Lab, the exhibition and the upcoming talks can be found at http://ura.gov.sg/urbanlab.
Press release issued by Urban Redevelopment Authority