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Mapping technology turning Depok in Indonesia into smart city

Depok in Indonesia is using mapping technology to support its smart city ambitions

The Indonesian city of Depok has implemented smart mapping technology to boost government efficiency and productivity in line with its commitment to achieve smart city status by 2025.

Depok, just south of the capital Jakarta on the island of Java, is using smart mapping technology from geospatial solutions vendor Esri Indonesia for its local planning and development agency (BAPPEDA). The government agencies for transport, highways and water resources, and planning are all using the technology for real-time collaboration and data sharing.

Smart mapping – also known as geographic information system (GIS) technology – integrates and analyses data from multiple systems to create a dynamic and interactive map-based view of information.

While GIS mapping technology has been available for a while, it is now a useful tool in a smart city system. Parking sensors, CCTV cameras, vehicle counters, traffic light detectors and heat maps are used to build an integrated mapping solution, said Shaily Shah, senior consultant, visionary innovation group, at market researcher and consultancy Frost & Sullivan.

Shah said the ‘smart’ element in a city is when the IT infrastructure and the management of public service networks are integrated. “The smart mapping technology optimises the use of interconnected systems by offering proactive real-time intelligent city services with the aim to ultimately have an interconnected smart city across systems, departments, services and stakeholders,” she added.

Depok uses a cloud-based platform called ArcGIS Online, which enables users to deliver maps, geographic information layers and analytics to a wider audience. A dynamic web-based portal has been created so that users across the organisation can access smart maps and apps.

Depok was one of the five winning cities with more than one million residents in the 2015 Indonesian smart cities awards, based on surveys conducted by daily newspaper Kompas and the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) with the support of state-owned gas company Perusahaan Gas Negara.

Real-time traffic data

Gilang Widyawisaksana, local government specialist at Esri Indonesia, said the Depok local government and Esri are exploring plans to equip the city’s traffic command centre with real-time data derived from sensors such as CCTVs, parking sensors and traffic lights. There are also plans to use smart mapping technology to integrate data from water sensors to help local authorities prepare for and respond to flooding.

“Activities such as planning, zoning, property registration and asset management often require two or more government agencies and departments to routinely work together through time-consuming manual processes,” said Widyawisaksana.

He cited as an example property registration, which requires staff to collect data in the field using paper-based spreadsheets and reports and then manually input that data when they get back to the office – a process that is time and effort-intensive.

“A more streamlined process can significantly reduce the cost, time and number of procedures involved in registering the property and other land instruments. This could then contribute to helping the city become an attractive business destination for investors,” said Widyawisaksana.

Read more about Asean smart cities

The Depok local government is also working to create a policy to get 16 other government agencies to actively share their geospatial data on a common platform by next year. This would enable the agencies to meet the development needs of their respective communities better by giving planners and decision-makers easy access to regional geographic insights.

“By opening up access to information that would otherwise be trapped in data silos, decision-makers will have the ability to make more informed choices on a range of areas including resource and budget allocations, policy development and urban planning,” said Widyawisaksana.

“Furthermore, with the potential for this information to be delivered in real-time, decision-makers will have the ability to quickly assess the impact and overarching value of new initiatives on the community.”

Smart mapping in Asean

Cities in other Asean countries are also utilising smart mapping technology, especially in the areas of smart mobility and smart infrastructure segments, said Shah.

In Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, the police department uses mapping technology to identify crime hotspots, and improve livability and community engagement. Kuala Lumpur City Hall is using 3D mapping technology to map areas in the city vulnerable to landslides, while George Town in Penang uses smart mapping technology to help support efforts to preserve its cultural heritage.

In Singapore, the government uses smart mapping technology as part of its Smart Nation initiative. This includes using smart mapping in areas such as municipal services, transportation, utilities, urban planning, public health and hospitals.

And the Manila Metropolitian Development Authority (MMDA) in the Philippines has launched a smart traffic management system that operates as a command centre by using mapping technology to minimise accidents and congestion in the capital. 



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