Air quality in focus at Open data workshop

29 November 2019
Open Data Workshop

An eagerly awaited event that would provide inspiration, insights, increased knowledge. This was the starting point for the workshop focusing on open data and data-driven innovation held at Johanneberg Science Park in November.

This time there were around 100 participants who heard about the City of Gothenburg's work with open data and what is going on, found out some good examples and were inspired by examples of innovations using open data. The day was divided into three different blocks and workshop parts.

First, participants were welcomed by Evdoxia Kouraki from Johanneberg Science Park and then Anders Frick took over as moderator of the day.

Dan Folkesson, Digitalization Manager, and Kim Lantto, Development Manager at Consumer and Citizens Service at the City of Gothenburg began with the visions around and work with Digital Gothenburg. Among other things, the city is developing a digital twin. Using open data will make the city's public management more efficient and the result will be a smarter work.

Then it was time for presentation for Ågot Watne and Johan Sylvén from the Environmental Administration in the City of Gothenburg. They provided three examples of where open data can be used in map visualizations, namely for maps of heat pumps, air and noise. The city has several measuring stations for measuring of air quality, including ones in the Femmanhuset, in Gårda and in Haga. Anyone can get a real-time data from the measuring stations, but the question is how many people actually do it, as well as why and how they use the datasets.

Then, Gunnar Blide and Kristian Johansson from the City Building Office at the City of Gothenburg took over and presented the City Building Office's project "Open basic geodata". The initiative is to provide the city's basic geodata as Open data.

The long-term goals are for citizens to experience better service and increased transparency, and that more innovative services based on open data should make everyday life easier for citizens and business.

– Before we were bound to charge for this data according to the Building Commission's tariff, but what people are now triggered by is that this data will be free, says Gunnar Bilde, who is process manager.

Gothenburg city map will be made available as open data shortly, and later this winter there will be orthophotos available as well. At the beginning of next year, the base map is planned to be posted, which is a much-awaited news for many.

– When we make our basic geodata freely available and release control over how the data is used, a new way of thinking is also needed, says Gunnar Bilde.

As part of the workshop, the participants were then asked to answer what kind of the data sets that they themselves were interested in. The responses provided included everything from traffic data and flood data to air quality and weather. All 142 answers are available in the PDF file, in the same folder as today's presentations.

The next part of the day was about parking. Jonas Eriksson and Dilan Ustunyagiz at Gothenburg City Park talked a lot about "nudging", which means pushing or encouraging people, and how this could be used to get people to park their car and take public transport or other means of transport. A concrete example is the price of parking, and how a price that is dynamically linked to air quality could make people park differently.

During the break, participants gave examples of when they used - or would like to use - open data in their everyday lives. Someone mentioned space data from the Copernicus program and someone else mentioned analyses and visualizations in GIS. One replied that they are collecting data from open data sources in order to combine it with their own statistics in order to be able to forecast the visitor industry.

During the last session of the day, four people presented various exciting projects from the business community.

Fredrik Hallgren, project manager for digitized environmental monitoring at the IVL Swedish Environmental Institute, talked about open data for innovation in sensors, and how it is possible with modelling to use very cheap air sensors but still get very good measures of air quality.

He also raised projects with sensors in focus such as:

LoV-IoT, SIP IoT-Sweden. Simple sensors for air and stormwater that will monitor infrastructure construction and warn in time at elevated levels.

ScoreWater. Cities' challenges in managing wastewater, stormwater and floods, where the goal is to create a resilient water cycle in the cities with the help of digitalisation.

OpenWaters. Open data, shared design and digital twins in innovation ecosystems for community-critical infrastructure. Focus on drinking water and storm water.

David Nilebo from Insplorion AB also talked about sensors. The title of the presentation was "Sensor technology for cleaner air". He addressed, among the other things, the problem of measuring stations. Today, most cities have only a few measurement stations, which only provide averages at the overall level. In the future there will be networks of measurement sensors that enable the control of smart cities, he believes. Simply explained, cheaper, smaller and better street-level sensors are needed to understand and fix the problems, according to David Nilebo.

Sara Janhäll from RISE talked about her ideas about Open data, and mentioned in particular a number of projects that she thought were particularly interesting:

- – Sweden's platform and developer portal for open public transport data and APIs (2010-)

- Swedish Transport Administration's open Real-time API (2012-2014)

- Open Transport Data Platform in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2015-2016)

- Focus Open Traffic data – industry-wide management of open data.

- Scaling open data – municipal joint handling of open data (2019 -)

- Open MobilityData in the Nordics – Nordic collaboration on common solutions and standards for open public transport data (2017 -)

Today's last presenter was Daniel Nilsson from Ramboll who talked about the initiative "Shair", a platform that helps with model calculations in real time. Shair combines historical data and calculations with current measurements, which gives better results than traditional models based on assumptions. He exemplified Shair in practice by demonstrating the "Happy Commuter" web service that provides recommendations on alternative routes for, for example, pedestrians and cyclists based on air quality.

The workshop was part of a series of workshops supported by the project SCORE, which is funded by InterReg. In SCORE – Smart Cities and Open data RE-use – nine cities around Europe collaborate with Amsterdam at the forefront. It is about opening data, lowering the thresholds for collaboration between companies in different countries and driving the development of new innovative solutions and common standards for EU countries. The project is run by the City of Gothenburg and Johanneberg Science Park.

All presentations from the day have been converted to PDF files and are available here:

Read also the summary of the last forum for open data:

During the day a new group was also launched on LinkedIn where the discussion can continue. Here is the link to the group:


For more information, contact:

Evdoxia Kouraki, Project Manager

+46 709 32 92 17 LinkedIn