We’re fast seeing a change in technology, as more and more researchers aim to adapt to the smart city lifestyle. The University of Glasgow is no different. They are developing an urban search engine in order to understand and make use of the countless sensors. Sensors, attached to lampposts, traffic lights, post-boxes and more are being used to monitor larger amounts of data. These sensors accurately gather data, however the search engine is needed to decode the information and transform it into the answer to a questions such as “How crowded is the city centre?”
The current aim for testing of the search engine is 2014, at which point it will be able to automatically identify cameras, microphones and other sensors that are collecting real-time information, and quickly interpret the results for the internet user. Eventually it is hoped that through accessing social media networks such as Twitter, users of the search engine will be able to ask questions such as “Where in the city are there music events that my friends have been to?” Current search engines, such as Yahoo or Google, cannot answer such queries.
This search engine is an important aspect of the Smart City initiative as the data is not limited and can be used across multiple applications, making the system as a whole much more effective and efficient.