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How Open Data can help you feel more safe

Cities publish the locations of police stations as Open Data

Open Data is made available in a wide variety of domains and for various reasons. One of the main reasons governments provide their citizens with Open Data is transparency. For example the city of Los Angeles has published data about accidents on its streets. Journalists have developed maps of the location of these accidents. Citizens understand now better that when construction is taking place at a specific crossing in the city causing delays or road closure, it will increase the safety which is needed because of the amount or severity of traffic accidents taking place at that location. In addition, as the map provides insights in the most dangerous locations, citizens become aware of the more dangerous locations and will pay more attention when crossing the streets there. Read more about this example here.

In another, maybe even simpler, example of how Open Data can contribute to the feeling of safety of citizens, is providing the location of police stations. Showing the amount of police stations and the locations, can bring citizens peace as they are given the feeling that a police men is close by. In both Zürich, Switzerland and Vienna, Austria, the location of police stations throughout the city is provided as Open Data.

 

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From the figures it can be concluded that in both cities the police is present throughout the whole area. Another conclusion that can be drawn is that in Vienna are much more police stations than in Zürich. This can be explained by the difference in size and population of both cities. Zürich has a size of 92 km2 and has a little less than 400,000 inhabitants, while Vienna is 415 km2 and has a little less than 1,700,000 inhabitants. Hence, more than four times as many people live in Vienna than in Zürich.

The European Data Portal collects examples of re-use of Open Data. There is also one example of a use case in Slovakia which visualises both crime rates and traffic accidents. Read more about this example here.

Find more data sets about safety by following the link below.