Live + Gov

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thessalonikiLive+Gov participated in the Apps4Greece competition organized by the City of Thessaloniki (http://thessaloniki.appsforgreece.eu/) for collecting ideas, datasets and applications that would make the city smarter.

Live+Gov participation was based on the technologies and mobile app developed in the context of the Mobility use case (http://thessaloniki.appsforgreece.eu/app/mobilitysense), offering the citizens of Thessaloniki the potential to obtain traffic jam information, to share their everyday routes for helping the city to improve its network, to share information with their fellow citizens, as well as to receive alerts about the good service of the network from the authorities. Live+Gov contribution was very well-received by the organizers of the competition leading to the symbolic price of a tablet that was awarded to the team of CERTH.


eurocities_news‘Jij maakt Utrecht’ (‘You make Utrecht’) is part of Participation 2.0, an innovation platform that focuses on social experimentation in the city of Utrecht. The platform uses new digital technology to support local democracy, encourage active citizenship and support people to self-organise digitally. This initiative is part of strengthening and broadening citizen participation in Utrecht.

IMMEDIATE AND ACCESSIBLE INFORMATION INPUT ON LOCAL PLANS

Jij maakt Utrecht focuses specifically on involving citizens in policymaking and projects. By making political participation more accessible, the city of Utrecht gives citizens the opportunity to communicate with policy makers and, if possible, realise their ideas.

The city developed an accessible digital platform where all the participation projects are available. People can share their initiatives and discuss or work on plans for the city via the website. The website includes a city map with an overview of initiatives in the various city’s districts. In the future it will become the starting point for all community participation programs.

Different types of initiatives can be posted on the website (listed below). The initiatives are immediately visible on the map with coloured icons. Users can click on any icon for more detailed information such as a description, photos, links and more. It is also possible to comment on and discuss the initiatives.

- Private initiatives: these are initiatives for the collective interest of neighbourhoods or districts.
- Public space management by residents: these are initiatives where residents self-administer part of the public space. The municipality can support this initiative by providing maintenance equipment.
- Liveability initiatives: These are initiatives from citizens to expand the liveability of a neighbourhood that are partially financed by the city of Utrecht.
- Participation projects: the city of Utrecht asks citizens and business owners to think about plans for the municipality.


Live+Gov supports the organization of the 1st International Workshop “From Pixels to Semantics – Semantic Analysis meets Visual Analysis” that will be held in conjunction with the International Conference on Knowledge Technologies and Data-driven Business (i-KNOW 2014), September 16-19, 2014, Graz, Austria. The goal of the workshop will be to gather researchers working in domains related to the Semantic Web and Computer Vision community such as: semantic web technologies, artificial intelligence, information retrieval, multimedia, and communication technologies, social media mining, knowledge mining, data science, human-computer interaction, humanities, and web information systems. The results of the workshop will be exploited by the Live+Gov consortium to facilitate its objectives in computer vision but also in social media, knowledge and data mining. 

http://mklab2.iti.gr/pixsem2014


ICT-enabled public sector innovation in H2020EuroSoc has attended the H2020 Information Day about ICT-enabled public sector innovation, which was organised by the European Commission. The aim and purpose of this venue was informing public and private institutions and organisations about the most important requirements for the funding period lying ahead. For EuroSoc and the Live+Gov project this was an ideal opportunity for meeting research institutes and private companies in this field, discussing the latest developments and innovations and collecting ideas for potential future projects that may continue Live+Gov in the one or the other form.

 

The main substantial message of the European Commission was that future projects in the H2020 funding scheme will have to focus equally on both Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and the public administration as such. Newly developed or applied ICT must be aligned with the organisational demands of public administrations: it should enable modern forms of government, which are summarised in the “Open Government” framework, which builds on the three concepts of transparency, participation, and collaboration. They should open up governmental data, governmental processes, and governmental services and modern ICT should provide the necessary instruments enabling this. Furthermore, the European Commission aims at promoting small and medium sized enterprises (SME) and concrete innovation projects.

 

Accordingly, the new approach of the European Commission is matching with the CPMT approach in the Live+Gov project. The insights that have been acquired in the project will help setting up new and sustainable follow-up projects in the H2020 framework and beyond.


In January a work session has been conducted with a group of citizens from Gordexola to trial the Urban Planning mobile Application developed within the Live+Gov project. This is an experience within the eParticipation focus of the project to bring citizens and administrators closer taking advantage of many new possibilities that smartphones can offer in this effort.

The system is a new communication channel between the Local Council of Gordexola and the citizens. The smart phone application allows citizens to participate, easily voting on their preferred option using their phone with no need to register. Local administrators offer a description with relevant information related to each plan so that citizens have a better background in order to decide. Having more details about these issues improves the knowledge the neighbors of Gordexola have about what is going on in their town, and they also receive feedback about the current percentages of the votes for each issue. During the first trial three prototype plans have been included with voting options, questions and space for free comment.

However, the most important aspect of this application is that it features an enhanced view of the plans overlapped on the real view of the smart phone camera that shows the 3D model of the infrastructure in the exact place where it will be built. Not only this, but the augmented reality feature also allows to see the 3D models overlapped on pictures of the selected location, opening the possibility of reaching citizens that are not there at the moment. These pictures can be shared through the current municipal communication channels such as the local municipal magazines and publications, the web page of Gordexola or information panels located in strategic settings.

The information collected from the citizen participation is used as new input for the decision makers to have a better and more realistic understanding of what the people they serve are interested in at any moment and not only depend on the political calendar that is presented prior to the elections. The opinion collected from the users can be then analyzed according to demographic characteristics or other information collected through the application that gives even further knowledge about what the inhabitants think about a proposed issue.

The Governing Body of Town Council of Gordexola is pleased with hosting this pioneering trial of eParticipation. This town has a tradition of being ahead of its time in terms of technological advance and offering its inhabitants modern services and they are therefore looking forward to collaborating in the next months in order to be able to fully test the entire system and prove its possibilities.

gordexola


03_Map-View-GeneralFrom mid-December 2013 a mobility field trial has been running in Helsinki. In the trial all together 15 volunteered pilot users living in Helsinki region were provided a prototype of the mobility application. The volunteered users were asked to use the application during their daily travelling with public transport and share their impressions. The application integration has been done by CERTH and user recruiting and guidance by Mattersoft.

The trial has ended at the end of January 2014, and evaluation of trial success is currently taking place. In the first trial the focus was on the mobile citizen application that collects data about citizen movements, detects user activity and used service line number in case they are travelling with public transport. The application is anticipated to prove as a useful and reliable tool for detecting citizens movements and means of travel in order to later extend the application to also provide a more personalized and relevant information by detecting reliably tendencies in citizens current journeys. The application also provided the users with information regarding current traffic situation and exceptions. With the application users were also provided a tool to send issue reports to the authorities when coming across different events related to public transport.

The first results seem promising and many functionalities have proved to be well functioning and the user activity rates have also been good. Based on initial surveys with the users, positive feedback has been received of application usability and the progress in the use case. The evaluation of the first trial is hoped to provide valuable information about the accuracy of the detected matters in the first pilot and also provide information on the most important focus points for the development on the second prototype, which will be piloted later in year 2014.


On the 21th of November the ‘Jij Maakt Utrecht Trophy’ has been awarded to the best citizen initiative of Utrecht by alderman Jeroen Kreijkamp. The award ceremony was part of the larger Jij Maakt Utrecht festival. As the name “You Make Utrecht” already states, Utrecht is serious about embracing and encouraging active citizenship.

At the festival, citizens, initiators, partners from the city, public officials and council members gathered to get inspired about initiatives in Utrecht. Workshops, power talks and plenary sessions were all part of the program. One of the keynote speakers was Jim Diers, who has extensive experience with building local communities in Seattle. He shared important insights on the local government’s role in building community.

The festival, the nominations and the award created great momentum and energy and put the spotlight on citizen initiatives. This video compilation (http://youtu.be/FP-RjTx_dvs) gives a good idea of the energy released in this festival.

Releasing the energy from active citizenship is not a once a year thing. Not surprisingly Utrecht plays an important role in the Live+Gov project. The aim is to be able to digitally facilitate and stimulate active citizenship on a continuous basis and moreover to give citizens initiatives the attention they deserve. Attention from politicians, public officials and particular attention from other active citizens who must be able to find what is going on in their neighbourhood quickly. Tapping into reality of citizens, lowering barriers for dialogue and stimulating citizens to launch or to join initiatives. This is what the Live+Gov eGovernment dialogue aims at, together with Utrecht municipality and community.

The community of Utrecht is showing that active citizenship is about the real world, not only the digital world, and with the right combination of both online and offline, presence and activity, it can really lift off- not once a year, but continuously. The digital platform is an enabler, people putting energy into their communities makes it happen.online_offline


conceptual_modelLive+Gov members have participated in 2013’s largest ICT conference in Europe hosted by the Lithuanian EU presidency – Create, Connect and Grow. From a Live+Gov perspective the presentation of the work programme session on public sector innovation under the upcoming Horizon 2020 – was an outstanding highlight.

EC Services underlined that public sector modernisation has been supported for well over a decade – in particular through e-Government. A lot of good results have been achieved by putting public services online. However, the EC is stressing that new challenges posed by the evolution of the society have created a new momentum for further modernisation in the public sector. In order to meet these new demands and increasing expectations, public administrations need to be transformed. EC is claiming for ICT-enabled public sector innovation to create and implement new and improved processes, products, services and methods of delivery in the public sector.  Moreover, the EC is asking for strengthening the open government approach to facilitate change within the public sector, to open public data and services and facilitating collaboration between government and citizens for the better performance of public services.

The Live+Gov project team, feels excited by those issued demands, as the developed policy models under the project are conceptualising the opening of government processes and decisions to foster citizens participation and collaboration. This match was perfectly visualized during the session as the official overview for the Open Government paradigm – is based on the key features of the Live+Gov conceptual model: Transparency, Participation and Collaboration.


foto3Researchers from the University of Koblenz have analyzed a BuitenBeter dataset consisting of 13,811 geo-tagged issues about urban maintenance that have been reported by citizens to the office of public order in the Netherlands between July and September 2012. Each issue is assigned by the citizen to one of 16 categories such as “poor road conditions”, “Dirt on the street” or “Graffiti”. Interestingly, the reports show patterns in the co-occurrence of categories – for instance, areas where graffities are reported typically also see many reports of the category “Dirt on the street”.

Modeling the patterns based on an initial clustering of reports based on their geographic location, topics are detected by analyzing the co-occurrences of categories within geographical clusters and capturing dependencies. Therefore interesting results have been extracted for creating comprehensible reports, characterizing the most likely categories.

The positions of documents with an above-average probability for each topic are shown in Figure 1-4. We see that Topic 1 (“Dirt on the street”, “Other”, “Graffities”) is only observed in the area of larger cities, whilst Topic 4 (“Other”, “Weed”, “Loose paving stones”, “Bad road”, “Damaged street light”, “Idea / wish”) is present across the whole country. Topic 2 (“Damaged street light”, “Bad road”) occurs mostly within city centres. Topic 3 (“Obstacle by trees”, “Weed”, “Loose paving stones”, “Bad road”, “Idea / wish”) is observed in the area of Eindhoven which saw a heavy storm within the collection period.


foto2Based on the technologies developed in the context of Live+Gov and in collaboration with a company specialized in Architecture Design, we have developed an application for mobile augmented reality that was installed in the exhibition Aegeon “the birth of an archipelago”, hosted in the Science Center and Technology Museum “NOESIS”. ()

The developed application allows the visitors of the exhibition to scan an exhibit with their camera phone and, depending on the recognized content, obtain a 3D representation of the exhibit. The application allows the visitor to interact with the 3D model and view it from many different perspectives. The application has received great attention as testified by the fact that our video presenting the functionality of the mobile application was included in a recent article (3/10/2013) about Museums, Art, and Smartphones and the way augmented reality is changing our Museum experience (http://mobileworldcapital.com/en/article/195).