Smart cities, and smart technologies, are emerging in many local contexts across Canada. Smart city technologies have quickly moved from development to adoption, often outpacing the social and political deliberations necessary to consider their effects in detail-particularly their effects on the privacy of Canadians (Bannerman, 2018). Dr. Sara Bannerman and her research team at McMaster University, including individuals from the Centre for Law, Technology and Society at the University of Ottawa and CIPPIC collected detailed information on smart city technologies in Canadian cities and plotted them out on an interactive map using Esri’s Story Map Series template called Smart City Technologies in Canada.
The application is built using multiple web maps – a series of maps for each city of interest across Canada – which contain smart city technologies like Bike Sharing, Internet Services, Drones and Smart Utilities hosted within feature layers. The web maps are then configured as story map series applications – one application for each city – and then each application is embedded inside of the master map series application which allows for tabs to be stacked and the user interface easier to navigate.
The application also makes use of crowd source information by linking to a Survey123 form. This allows users of the application to geo-locate smart technologies they see and update the map – the hope is to learn more about development and adaptation of smart technologies and their privacy concerns through community interaction and involvement.
Esri has developed multiple tools – StoryMaps, ArcGIS Online, Web Maps, Feature Classes, Survey123 – all of which are capable of working together to create a successful product implemented for positive research growth and development into a topic that is fairly new and very interesting. It is very possible to create web based applications without programming – or very little programming – that are effective, easy to operate and are attractive. Through work like this, I do believe GIS has evolved from simply an application used for physical sciences and remote sensing to a multi-platform application capable of developing results and findings patterns in any field of science, technology and business.
I encourage you to read more about Dr. Sara Bannerman and her research into The Privacy Implications of Smart Cities – with the exponential growth of technology and the internet of things, privacy of data and information is crucial for a healthy relationship between humans and technology.