Omniveillance – Paris Launches a City-Wide Semantic Web

January 31st, 2011

Almost three years ago in Omniveillance, I wrote about a cite-wide semantic web.

Google has already begun its form of a semantic web in the city of Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada.133 The city has provided Google with detailed municipal information about their fire services, buildings, property lines, utilities, permit information, zoning history, garbage collection schedule, and even the location of cemetery plots.134 In turn, Google incorporated all of this information into its Google Earth geospatial imaging system, and now allows residents to instantly see when the home garbage delivery will occur, how their property is zoned, and even where the closest fire truck is.135 Google also allows a user to type in any address and read stories about news events occurring in that locale,136 as well as view photos, videos, real estate listings, and other content associated with that geographic area.137 This aggregation of information that closely touches everyone’s lives is a first step towards a semantic web.138

It seems that the City of Paris has taken the first step towards a city-wide semantic web. Engagdet reports:

ParisData has launched, home to the “open data policy of the City of Paris.” Here you’ll find reams and reams of bits and bytes from the city’s various municipal organizations, all released in the “spirit of transparency and open innovation.” All is licensed ODbL, which is free to share and adapt so long as it stays open and stays attributed. What sort of data is there? Not an awful lot at this point, if we’re honest, a few random lists of names and some other files, all quite naturally in French. But, we did find an interesting map listing locations of public parks and sidewalks, which René-Luc D’Hont used to create the mash-up above.

Curious to see how quickly this mashup grows, and what types of information it will store.