London leading the new information age

London is on the cusp of transforming the way information is shared between Government bodies and the public

This is according to some of the world’s leading experts in ‘real time data’.


Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor, Carlo Ratti and Bryan Sivak, Chief Technology Officer Washington DC, were speaking at the ‘Possibitlies of Real Time Data’ held today (April 19) at City Hall. Looking at the opportunities and benefits the release of public information could bring to London they both highlighted the positive impact freely available real time transport, crime and mobile phone data has had on improving public services in the United States and encouraged the Greater London Authority (GLA) group to continue moving forward with plans to release all of its data into the London Datastore launched earlier this year.


In Washington DC, released Government data has been used to develop online applications that have helped citizens to get comprehensive information about city neighborhoods, probe crime data, find parking, and map out historic tours.  In London the GLA has already made public vast swathes of previously unreleased data through the London Datastore and is currently working with all of the functional bodies, and London’s boroughs, to release even more, including ‘real time’ transport data from Transport for London.


Leo Boland, Chief Executive of the Greater London Authority said:

We’re well on the way to transforming the way in which information is shared between government bodies and the public in London. Releasing data, particularly real time data, for free will not only increase transparency and accountability at the GLA but will also lead to the development of exciting new applications that can help make the city even more accessible for everyone.”


Professor Carlo Ratti said:

“"Networks, wireless devices and all that distributed electronics that is being referred to as 'smart dust' are transforming our cities into computers in open air. As a result, today we have the ability to collect very large amounts of data. If properly treated - and if democratically shared with citizens, along the lines of what the GLA and the Obama Administration are starting to do - this data could prove a goldmine to provide better services to people and revolutionize urban life."


Bryan Sivak, Chief Technology Officer Washington DC said:

The District of Columbia has been a leader in using technology to increase government transparency and accountability.  We have also been a pioneer in inviting private developers to partner with government by creating new applications with government data and platforms.  For example, you can view 400 data feeds at our public data site,; probe the performance of our agencies; and try out the many open-source apps available for free at  We’re committed to developing innovations like these to democratize government data and government operations"

Source: ©GLA

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