The IBM Smarter Cities Initiative has engaged 430 clients to date, and shares some of the lessons that they’ve learned in the process. The stepped process that they outline for the approach of a city’s system of systems integration could just as easily outline the phased approach of a GIS implementation.
The first step that IBM outlines is the need to instrument the systems in order to collect a lot of data. The second step is to integrate and combine data from various sources to draw insight. The third step is to optimize the data and make it available to the public in order to gently alter behavior. The tasks of each of these steps cannot be achieved however without an overriding goal and shared mission so that different stakeholders don’t pull against one another.
The large-scale implementations of a Smart City approach has had the way paved by such implementations as GIS and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). The effective implementation of sensors and systems requires a deep integration with existing systems, and the means to visualize for better decision making. GIS is a key component that enables deeper integration between systems because it facilitates the aggregation and visualization of system outputs.
As the Smarter Cities marketing engine chugs on, it would serve geospatial vendors, resellers and integrators to jump on board to highlight the system of systems approach that has paved the way for greater insight.