The connection of publicly available, open data with driver crowdsourcing data has benefits such as making it possible to get faster police responses to accidents and other hazards, the companies say. Cities can also gain insights about traffic patterns to help with economic development and planning for capital investments for their streets, traffic signals and related transportation.
With this approach, "a city can avoid investing in Internet of Things technology to capture the same kind of data that citizens already collect in an app," said Carl Piva, vice president of strategy programs at TM Forum, an association that helps cities and other groups share ideas about digital innovations.
"The impact can be big for a relatively low investment," said Andrew Stauffer, product manager for civic technology at Esri. The mapping company has about 40,000 clients that use Esri database and mapping software, he said.