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HK City Dashboards Display Open Data

HK City Dashboards
Image created from: https://data.gov.hk/en/

Four city dashboards, which help the public visualise real-time dynamic Hong Kong data, have now been available on, the Government announced recently.

HK city dashboards display open data on environment and weather, transport and traffic, public facilities and services and a city overview on interactive charts and maps.

They were developed to be more user-friendly, the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer said, adding the dashboards will help stimulate data providers and the public to brainstorm more ideas on open data and new innovative applications for smart city development.

The Government has been promoting the opening of its data. Currently, there are about 4,000 datasets on the Public Sector Information Portal.

Among the more than 700 new datasets released are those of real-time estimated arrival times of New World First Bus, Citybus, New Lantao Bus and the Mass Transit Railway.

Over 220 new datasets are scheduled for release in 2020, including weather data from the Hong Kong Observatory.

According to another report, the HKSAR government is set to open up more of its data resources to the public, to create an opportunity for private firms and individuals to utilize the information and build smart-city solutions.

In a statement, the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) said more than 650 new datasets will be released in 2019 via the Public Sector Information (PSI) Portal for free viewing and use by the public.

The move comes after more than 80 government bureaus and departments published their first annual open data plans in 2019, bearing in mind the region’s Chief Executive’s efforts to transform the city into a hub for innovation and technology.

The newly added datasets will cover different areas, including those related to the economy and livelihood, real-time meteorological data, geospatial data, digital maps that can facilitate smart-city development, and data that can enhance city management.

In her first policy address in 2017, the CE has outlined eight major areas for innovation and technology development, with one of them being opening up government data to provide raw materials for technology research, innovation and smart city development.

Under the new policy, all government bureaus and departments are being urged to release their data for free public use on the PSI Portal, unless there are justifiable reasons such as involvement of personal privacy, the Government Chief Information Officer said.

The additions this year will bring the total number of the government’s datasets open to the general public to nearly 4,000 from around 3,300 at the moment, marking an increase of about 20 percent.

People can browse, download, distribute, reproduce, print and hyperlink all of those datasets free of charge for both commercial and non-commercial uses, such as mobile application programming and policy analysis.

The Transport Department (TD) is set to make public in June the real-time number of space available at the 11 government park lots, while data of metered parking space will also be open by March 2021.

It is hoped that more operators of private car parks can join the government’s efforts to release their data so that the initiative can benefit the firms’ business.

Discussions between the TD and bus operators over the latter’s real-time bus arrival information are also underway, with the TD planning use the HK$31 million fund it has received to launch a trial run on some routes in the next two or three years.

Meanwhile, the OGCIO said all datasets on the PSI Portal follow international practices and are released in machine-readable formats commonly used by the industry to enhance the usability of data.

For the general public that does not have access to data in such formats, the Government CIO stated that his office will roll out a City Dashboard for their use by displaying data in maps, graphs and diagrams.

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