Improving Event Safety with Open Data

February 1, 2016 6:13 am PST | Open Data

With the Super Bowl days away, many football fans are thinking about the players, the parties, and the commercials. The city of Santa Clara is thinking about public safety and data. Some of the largest sporting events are using big and open data to make sure that their events stay safe, and there is still great potential for governments to employ open data even more when planning big events.

Sharing Data to Monitor and Prevent Threats at Super Bowl 50

As the city of Santa Clara, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), local law enforcement departments, and the NFL prepare for Super Bowl 50, they are turning to a new data-sharing network to mitigate threats. The partnership will enable staff in the Levi’s Stadium command post to monitor a variety of indicators in one place.

Gaurav Garg, Santa Clara’s Chief Innovation Officer told Government Technology, “Really it is creating a single pane of glass for multiple types of information [that can] then be visualized: where the situations are happening, where our public safety assets are, where the cameras are and what the traffic conditions are.”

Although the VTA understandably is eager to keep some of these details private for security reasons, it’s easy to imagine open data about bus routes and live traffic feeds that is already available being funneled into the hub.

Event Planners Turn to Open Data for Disaster and Incident Planning

With this new effort, Santa Clara joins other cities like Rio de Janeiro and Baltimore in putting data to work to protect athletes and fans. In anticipation of the 2014 World Cup, Rio officials collaborated with Google Maps to create and implement preparedness plans in the event of a major disaster. And in 2011, when Baltimore hosted an IndyCar race, the city worked to bring together data from the FBI, Maryland State Police, and closed circuit video feeds in one place.

Other Ways Event Planners Can Leverage Open Data

No doubt, safety is the number one priority of any government, but there is still potential for open data to help event planners in other ways.

Do you have an example of a government and an event planner using open data to produce a great event? Drop us a line @Socrata and share your story!


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