Date Published: May 9, 2018, 8:35 a.m.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government is taking bold steps towards the use of big data by offering 4,743 kinds of datasets in 12 areas as diverse as transportation, public facilities, civil petition, housing, welfare, etc. With over 10 million inhabitants, the city of Seoul is using public data to face the growing number of urban issues. Public transportation has become a top priority that to tackle through the use of big data in many different ways. The strategy of the city aims at exploring and analyzing urban issues based on public data.
Seoul Metropolitan Government administrative area
More than 1,000,000 people impacted by the project
Starting dates: 01/01/2012 (data open) - 01/01/2013 (data analytic project)
Ending date: still on going
In order to identify daily urban travels and create services accordingly, the municipality of Seoul analyzed public transportation cards used by 90% of Seoul’s citizens, conducted a survey over 70,000 taxis and assessed 600,000 pieces of data from the 120 Dasan Call Center, a service that takes inquiries about and provides information on life in Seoul.
The strategy is based on two main tools:
Upgrading the Data Open System:
- Stages: defining requirements, design and test, implementation, stabilization
- Instruments: open source DB, Application monitoring tool
- Stakeholders: citizen users(data request), advisory group(advice for the project)
Data analytic project:
- Stages: problem definition, data collection, and curation, analysis, documentation
- Instruments: analytic tool (R, Python), commercial data(credit card payment), GIS and visualization tool(ArcGIS)
- Stakeholders: working group(business knowledge and insight share, feasibility test)
The project budget amount is around $2M. The projects’ budget was exclusively financed by Seoul Metropolitan Government.
As various projects were implemented, many areas are impacted.
- Three billion mobile phone calls have been analyzed by the city government to discover the most frequented places at night and establish late-night buses and subways.
- Based on data from DTGs (digital tachographs) installed in taxis, a map was created based on the taxi routes and whether passengers had used the taxis along those routes. This enables to reduce the taxi vacancy rate by 10 percent and the average waiting time has decreased by three minutes, from 27.4 minutes to 24.5 minutes.
- A platform was created to register all traffic accident hotspots and locations.
- A Big Data Campus was launched to analyze data from both the public and private sector to solve social issues through cooperation and to help bridge the information divide between the privileged and the disadvantaged, such as small businesses and young entrepreneurs.
Citizens who are interested in urban data and analytic results are the main beneficiaries. Enhancements improved system performance, so users can access and download data easier and quicker. Also, users can get various data through a unified system.
The main barrier to the initiative was due to the wide scope of the project, different data available to explore and the lack of skilled personnel. Because of that Seoul had to prioritize the focus areas and type of datasets to work with.
In order to implement and scale projects like the Seoul Big Data Initiative, the most important things are: political and top leadership willingness to develop big data initiatives and work with a strong collaboration with different internal and external stakeholders.
Big data initiative