Plan 4Business - A service platform for aggregation, processing and analysis of urban and regional planning data

author: Joachim Rix, Fraunhofer IGD
published: July 16, 2012,   recorded: June 2012,   views: 3068


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Urban and Regional Planning data sets are not aggregated so far, and thus it is very difficult to use them for any other purpose than for printing of simple publishing by the authorities that they were created by. Creating time series or comparative analyses on these data sets is not yet possible; researchers, spatial planners and professionals from the real estate world and other disciplines, such as insurance industry, investors, or market-relevant activities related to urban development have a growing stake in such capabilities. The plan4business project consequently aims to develop a platform that can serve users a full catalogue of planning data such as transport infrastructure, regional plans, urban plans and zoning plans. The platform offers clients not just the data itself in integrated, harmonised and thus ready-to-use form, but it also offers rich analysis and visualisation services via an API and an interactive web frontend. Functions offered range from simple statistical analysis to complex trend detection and to 2D/3D representations of these. The two main challenges that have so far hindered usage of planning data in such a manner are the required integration and harmonisation, which needs to be highly automated, as well as the need for an ICT system that can efficiently answer complex queries over the diverse and complex planning data sets. The business model for the plan4business platform foresees several different groups of active stakeholders: data providers (planning authorities, engineering bureaus, researchers), data curators (who perform integration and quality assurance), clients and the data brokers who will be hosting and exploiting the plan4business portal. Revenue is to be generated via on-demand and subscription services to different customer groups ranging from environmental and planning authorities and companies to banks and real estate companies and developers.

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