Thoughts, stories and ideas.

Amsterdam: One of Europe’s Top Smart Cities

by Feyza Olson

Using location tracking to make it even better!


Amsterdam is Europe’s center for innovative technology and thriving with startups. As the population continues to grow, and more people move into cities, the need for change increases. This new combination ecosystem enables urban planners to create more efficiency and sustainability with the use Location tracking solutions.

According to the United Nations, 68% of the world’s population is projected to live in urban areas by 2050. Initiatives making cities smarter continue to rise in popularity.

New Solutions

The Netherlands has moved up five places to rank 3rd in The Global Innovation Index 2017.

City planners and developers are looking to different services and technologies to tackle these new issues such as congestion, foot traffic, and inefficient energy consumption.  The Amsterdam Smart City Initiative (ASC) was founded in 2009.  It has helped over 80 pilot projects since then and it intends to make the city smarter.

New Insights

With countless new location based technologies being developed, cities have the possibility to become even more convenient to the public, while still taking into account sustainability and environmental concerns. The use of Location Based Services and Smart City Initiatives in combination with city demographics and data analytics has great potential to improve insights within a city. This allows authorities and officials to target the right people at the appropriate time and place.

The ability to gain valuable insight into citizen behaviours can increase resident satisfaction levels, and improve a city’s branding leading to an increase in new business within a city; in turn, increasing the potential for higher revenues for a city.  

Many of these initiatives, services and solutions can benefit from and progress with the help of location tracking.

Social Glass

This platform utilizes real-time urban big data analytics and forecasting in order to build a “reflection of the human landscape”.

By analyzing word meanings, relationships between them with advanced lexical semantics and combining the results with machine learning, the team is able to determine the condition, desires, and mood of the public.

In combination with geolocation data and data from the municipality, the pattern and mood of the city can be established. If there is a long museum line annoying tourists or a local event is disrupting residents the platform can send alerts telling people to avoid the attraction until it is less crowded.

It can still take time for artificial intelligence to learn and recognize patterns and validate the data. By continuing to engage citizens in the smart city initiative, Amsterdam has an advantage.

The Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS)

AMS was founded by Delft University, Wageningen University, and MIT as a response to requests from the city to expand metropolitan solutions to current urban issues.

AMS is part of a project to move from the conventional forms of public data and research ways to produce large-scale, geo-social data, using sensors, GPS devices, and mobile phones. This information is more human-oriented and benefits from untapped forms of community information from social media, LoRa networks, and open data portals.

Public Transportation and Safety

As the population increases so do the number of people using public transportation services. Public transportation offers flexibility and freedom for commuters. Additionally, it helps people save money, reduce traffic congestion, and reduce carbon emissions. With the implementation of precise location services it can improve even more. Using a live tracking system based on location, commuters can view the location of the buses and estimated time of arrival. Live alert features help ensure the safety of the passengers. In addition, bus performance can be measured and analyzed, displaying whether the bus is consuming more fuel than necessary or if the driver is engaging in dangerous driving behaviors according to location tracking updates.

Infinite Possibilities

Residents are often able to see (quickly) what the city needs before administrators can. Therefore, gaining precise location insights from the source can provide invaluable information to city developers. With new advancements in technology and location-tracking  citizens have the capability to become the co-creators of the city.

Curious to know more about location tracking technology and intelligence? Contact GeoSpark.

Share twitter/ facebook/ copy link