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February 27, 2018

Future Cities Catapult to upgrade Tombolo data visualisation tool

Over the past year, FCC has developed Digital Connector, an open source tool to help data specialists format, connect and share geospatial data.

By CBR Staff Writer

Future Cities Catapult (FCC) has signed an agreement with Emu Analytics to further develop Tombolo software, a new data visualisation tool that can help develop more solutions for smart places.

The government-backed FCC, which leads research on smart city technologies, said it is working with Barking and Dagenham Council’s Corporate Insight Hub.

Over the past year, FCC has developed Digital Connector, an open source tool to help data specialists format, connect and share geospatial data.

The software features commonly connected datasets such as Open Street Map and ONS Census, and indexes on issues such as social isolation and active travel.

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Digital Connector is intended to work for data specialists in programmes such as Python and Java, and it is not really accessible for general users, which has prompted FCC to work on Tombolo, the second data visualisation tool.

FCC said that if data sets from across cities are connected, more effective and innovative solutions can be developed for addressing multiple city challenges and accelerating the rate at which cities can be improved and making them more liveable spaces for people.

In a blogpost, delivery lead for the project Jon Robertson said: “We want to create a platform that will enable data folk to quickly and easily share great data stories with influencers and decision-makers inside and outside of their organisation.”

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Tombolo data visualisation tool will be made available for a hackathon, City Data Hack, on 16-18 March 2018 in London, where potential users can sign up to an account and gain access to a ‘playground’ where they can import, view and edit visualisations about their place.

FCC said it has completed the Data Visualisation Platform prototype, UX Designs and specification in-house and it will share the details openly with those interested before the tool becomes available for the hackathon.

The Emu Analytics team will continue to work with the FCC visual designers and data scientists over the coming weeks, reviewing the outputs with the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham’s Corporate Insight Hub to develop a product that is fit for public sector.

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