Sunday, December 31, 2017

BDS- The REAL Truth

The anti-Israel BDS - Boycott Divest Sanction- is not a "social movement" because a movement requires universality, like the feminist, gay lesbian and civil rights movements.
The BDS movement is not just about boycotting or imposing sanctions against Israel. BDS is an anti-Jewish / anti-Israel tactic directed against all Jewish citizens and supporters of Israel.
BDS is not just about delegitimizing and isolating Israel, and turning it into a rogue state. it is about creating a mass movement to call for the dissolution of Israel as an entity that has no right to exist.
BDS argues that Israel is a "colonialist-settler" state, not just in "Judaea and Shomron" aka the "West Bank" but essentially in ALL of Israel.
BDS is not "just" a protest against Israel's policies. it is a protest against Israel's very existence.

The BDS movement is based on the notion that it is okay to apply different standards to Israelis than to the rest of the world’s peoples.
All anti-Israel boycotts, whether limited or comprehensive, are designed to advance the same agenda, which is to deny Israel normalcy and legitimacy.
These  Activists leading the divestment campaign have repeatedly stated their belief that Zionism is inherently racist and that the only way to bring peace to the region is to eliminate Israel.”
These anti-Israel propagandists equate “Islamophobia” with any criticism of anti-Semitism in the Arab and Muslim world-—where the respected Pew Survey shows levels of Jew hatred in some countries exceeding 90 percent.
The members of the BDS movement are more interested in pouring hatred on Israel than promoting reforms, democracy, freedom of speech and the rights of women under the rule of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. They are most definitely not advancing the cause of peace just plain old time anti-Jewish hatred, plain and simple.

In January 2015, former Harvard President Lawrence H. Summers, speaking at Columbia Center for Law and Liberty, stated:
“I believe that the general failure of American academic leaders to aggressively take on the challenge posed by the Boycott, Divestment, Sanction (BDS) movement represents a consequential abdication of moral responsibility.” Summers went on: “My [2002] suggestion that the divestiture and boycott movements were ‘anti-Semitic in effect if not intent’ seems to me to have stood up rather well. Note I did not label anyone an anti-Semite. I said instead that the effect of the actions they favored—singling out Israel for economic pressure—if carried out would be anti-Semitic—in other words, in opposition to the Jewish people. We live in a world where there are nations in which the penalty for homosexuality is death, in which women are stoned for adultery, in which torture is pervasive, in which governments are killing tens of thousands of their own people each year. But the proponents of Israeli boycotts divestiture and sanctions do not favor any form of pressure against countries other than Israel.”
The reasoning behind the growing threat of incessant hatred and rabid anti-Israel /Jewish, anti-Semitism in Europe and in the Middle East is a direct outcome of  the BDS world wide media campaign by the "Falestinians" and their financial backers to discredit Israel as a legitimate country in the eyes of the world.

Simcha Jacobovici stated in his Blog, "Countdown to Israel’s Destruction";
"In the international media, Israel is portrayed as the enemy of peace, the disruptor of international stability and a racist, colonialist regime that targets Arab children for a pastime."
The real success of this BDS campaign to "vilify" Israel, is a direct outcome of the total dirth of a real and organized response to this media war by successive Israeli governments. The Israeli Foreign Ministry has never made any real concerted initiative in "Public diplomacy"known as (hasbara, Hebrew: הַסְבָּרָה‬ hasbará, "explaining") or public relations efforts to disseminate abroad positive information or propaganda about the State of Israel and its actions to offset this campaign to delegitimatize Israel's right to exist.
The results of this abject failure to combat the tidal wave of anti-Israel sentiments on the social media and in news broadcasts can be felt and seen in the increased acts of violence in Europe and the world. The recent demonstrations throughout the United States and Europe and acts of violence are not just against Israel but against Jews on the whole.

The lack of a real and organized Israeli "Hasbarah”-which can be defined as the action or profession of explaining of Israel's position and actions-in the world of Israeli politics and diplomacy. Due to the Tsunami of literal hatred, despisal and animosity against Israel in the brazen activities of the BDS Boycott Divest Sanctions movement. The need for a correct Israeli Hasbara has acquired a much more complex problem to overcome.
Backing for the State of Israel and it's legitimacy has steadily decreased in the past 40 odd years among Liberals and especially among non-religious and unaffiliated Jews in America. We can also see this especially in the loss of the appreciation -the hearts and minds - in the younger generation and in their backing for the cause of the historical and biblical aspirations of the Jewish people for a "Homeland" in Zion. This we have clearly seen as predominant among American and Western liberal Jewish communities in recent years.
Much of this has come about due to the non resolution of the final status of Judaea and Shomron and the continual negativity of the lie of "Occupation".

The simple but ignored fact of the continual cycle of attempts to reach a "just and lasting Peace" by Israel has been met by a continual outright refusal of the Palestinians to agree to recognition of the Jewish entity. In every instance we only hear that the absence for Peace is due to "Israel's Intransigence", NO ONE has EVER questioned the lack of willingness on the part of the Palestinians to accept; "What there is."

For their leadership. their people are but mere pawns to be inspired to become Martys for the cause because they know that time is on their side. They know as, Arafat learned from the "great leaders of the Liberation movements", that the longer you draw out a conflict of a hated enemy the better your chances of victory.

Võ Nguyên Giáp, a General in the Vietnam People's Army advised Arafat and his adjutant, Khalil Ibrahim al-Wazir - Abu Jihad:
“Stop talking about annihilating Israel and instead turn your terror war into a struggle for ‎human rights. Then you will have the American people eating out of your hand.”
‎Mhamed Yazid, who had been minister of information in two Algerian wartime ‎governments (1958-1962) advised Arafat:‎
‎“Wipe out the argument that Israel is a small state whose existence is threatened by the Arab ‎states, or the reduction of the Palestinian problem to a question of refugees; instead, present ‎the Palestinian struggle as a struggle for liberation like the others. Wipe out the impression ‎‎…that in the struggle between the Palestinians and the Zionists, the Zionist is the underdog. ‎Now it is the Arab who is oppressed and victimized in his existence because he is not only ‎facing the Zionists but also world imperialism.”‎
The nadir of support for Israel and the utter and vile hatred among the "Liberals" for President Donald J Trump and his pro-israel stance. This abject hatred has encouraged and emboldened brazen and despicable acts of violence not only among the Moslem residents throughout the Middle East, Europe but it has embolded and given new life to the Neo-Nazi Elements of "White Supremacist" in the United States.

As Simcha Jacobovici stated in his Blog;
"Even during the worst days of South Africa’s Apartheid, no one called for the destruction of South Africa. What they were calling for was a regime change, not the annihilation of the state. With Israel, it’s different. In campuses around the world “progressive” students and faculty are openly calling for the elimination of the Jewish state."
The strategy of the "Falestinians" to mark Israel as a "Pariah among nations", an unwanted "Apartheid racist, colonist entity" has achieved a remarkable success through the BDS campaign. They have inverted much of the world's perception of the Middle East: transforming tiny Israel from its natural role of "David" against the massive Arab population and lands, to one of "Goliath" against the "stateless," "oppressed," and "occupied" "Palestinians.

The success of this massive BDS "PR" program to vilify, defame and delegitimization Israel has won the hearts of the young brainwashed and bamboozled "Millenials" as well as the mass of Moslem émigrés throughout Europe. The same wave of hatred that has arisen against the Moslem emigrates in the European Union has also given a rebirth to the anti-Semites of the Neo Nazi parties.

As I mentioned earlier, today's BDS campaign of utter hatred is based on the relatively new narrative of the post Nachba "Falestinians" that Arafat outlined in his infamous "Zionism equals racism"address to the UN General Assembly in November of 1974.
In his address Arafat established the strategy of what I call the "Negation of Israel Plan" -known by all Arabs as the "plan of stages" for the destruction of Israel based on three themes.
  • The first being that the Jews /Zionists are not native to the land that we are;"colonists and settlers".
  • The second theme is the the "European immigrant Jews"  are not real Jews but Khazarim that we are not native to the soil that we are usurpers and that the "Falestinians" are the true natives.
  • The Third theme is "The Great Lie",  the negation and vilification campaign as defined by Muhammad Yazid; to show that, "...it is the Arab who is oppressed and victimized"
Here are the major excerpts from Yasser Arafat's UN General Assembly address in November of 1974. Pay heed to the context:
"Our resolve to build a new world is fortified-a world free of colonialism, imperialism, neo-colonialism and racism in each of its instances, including Zionism."
'The world is in need of tremendous efforts if its aspirations to peace, freedom, justice, equality and development are to be realized, if its struggle is to be victorious over colonialism, imperialism, neo-colonialism, and racism in all its forms, including Zionism."
"An old world order is crumbling before our eyes, as imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism and racism, the chief form of which is Zionism, ineluctably perish."
"Zionism is an ideology that is imperialist, colonialist, racist ; it is profoundly reactionary and discriminatory ; it is united with anti-Semitism."
"The roots of the Palestinian question reach back into the closing years of the 19th century, in other words, to that period which we call the era of colonialism and settlement,’ as we know it today. This is precisely the period during which Zionism as a scheme was born; its aim was the conquest of Palestine by European immigrants, just as settlers colonized, and indeed raided, most of Africa. This is the period during which, pouring forth out of the west, colonialism spread into the furthest reaches of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, building colonies, everywhere cruelly exploiting, oppressing,’ plundering the peoples of those three continents. This period persists into the present. Marked evidence of its totally reprehensible presence can be readily perceived in the racism practiced both in South Africa and in Palestine"
 "Just as colonialism and its demagogues dignified their conquests, their plunder and limitless attacks upon the natives of Africa with appeals to a “civilizing and modernizing” mission, so too did waves of Zionist immigrants disguise their purposes as they conquered Palestine. Just as colonialism as a system and colonialists as its instrument used religion, color, race and language to justify the African’s exploitation and his cruel subjugation by terror and discrimination, so too were these methods employed as Palestine was usurped and its people hounded from their national homeland."
Therefore as I have explained, and we have witnessed in the UN, the true purpose of this concerted plan is to have the nations of the world call for the forceful dissolution of the State of Israel by a cancellation or negation of the Partition by the nations of the world.

Both the Falestinian Authority and Hamas and their supporters throughout the world are convinced that the anti-Israel BDS campaign will ultimately pave the way for the elimination of Israel. Their intention is NOT to live in Peace with a "Two State" solution as the Liberal Leftist dreamers think. Their real stated intention is to negate the very existence of the Jewish State in it's entirity as Arafat stated in his Negation of Israel Plan UN Speech of November of 1974.


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Dead Sea -Med Canal Project

The Dead Sea -Med Canal Project which was first proposed by William Allen in 1855 in an overview called 'The Dead Sea – A new route to India'. Allen as well as Theodor Herzl in his 1902 novel Altneuland should be a cornerstone of a comprehensive peace plan.

Efforts should be undertaken to get donor nations of the peace process to fund, through the World Bank, the capital investment for the establishment of a Dead Sea -Med Canal Project. The potential benefits of this project to provide all the parties in the region with economic, political and other respects are extremely significant. Not only will it replenish and revitalize the Dead Sea it will become the "live sea", potentially with millions of visiting tourists. It will generate substantial power and usable water and promote cooperation among the parties, thereby spurring the transformation of a barren and forbidding environment into the Jordan Valley of Peaceful coexistence.

The Dead Sea -Med Canal Project is a proposed project to dig a canal starting at the Israeli town of Ashdod from the Mediterranean Sea to the Dead Sea, to take advantage of the more than 400-metre difference in water level between the two seas. Water from the Mediterranean Sea will be led through a tunnel and to a “green” hydroelectric power project which than can produce hundreds if not thousands of megawatts of clean and renewable electric energy. The value of such electric energy will be maximized by power generation during peak demand times. The excess electric power could be sold into the existing electrical grids to pay the cost of the Project.

There is a proposal, that in the construction of the Dead Sea -Med Canal Project, that an artificial storage reservoir for the flow from the tunnel, will be stored in this reservoir to be called “Shalom (Salaam/Peace) Lake”.
The area for this Lake /reservoir will be located in a natural basin on the south branch of Wadi Qumran. Utilizing soil from the tunnel boring an earthquake resistant dam can be constructed. This proposed reservoir/lake will potentially have a surface area of about 3 square kilometers and maximum depth at the dam of some 80 meters.
When the water is released daily during hours of “peak demand”, the surface elevation will decline about three meters thus creating a tidal effect for the shoreline and possibly encourage normal Mediterranean marine ecology.

It is needless to say that the creation of such a beautiful marine lake merely twenty kilometers from Jerusalem, will serve as an impetuous for tourism and residential development. Surely the name, the Lake of Peace, is suitable for this setting and for the benefits it will bring the entire region.

The water brought in through the project will help to restore the Dead Sea to the desired level, and thereby reverse the erosion and subsistence that is presently destroying the area. Additionally the continued operation of the hydroelectric power plant will enable the development of additional desalination capacity to supply the water needs to help ease the chronic water shortages in the entire region.

The newly built desalination plants established by the new canal/tunnel system of the Dead Sea -Med Canal Project can provide water for potash mining operations and for aquaculture and agriculture. Desalinated water designated for irrigation of crops can be run through ponds for the production of fresh water fish and prawns. Med Sea water from the surface layer of the Dead Sea can be used for production of Sea Bass and Bream, and high value seaweed.

In addition to tall this we can use the daily tunnel flow to create a reservoir in the upper seabed formed when the Dead Sea was the same level as the Med Sea. This area is deep clay, and very suitable for a reservoir site. A desalination plant and towns for the resettlement of Palestinian refugees can be located near this lake.

Desalinated water, from a desalination plant placed on the north shore of the Dead Sea can be used for the restoration of the Jordan River and provide a source for irrigation of nearby farmlands. This would enable a huge increase in agriculture and industry in the valley, and will lead to many new needed jobs for the resettled Palestinian refugees and Jordanian citizens during construction as well as many permanent jobs, while abundantly available desalinated water will stimulate new investment in self-sustaining agriculture, fish farming, manufacturing and real estate development.


The Dead Sea ("Dead") continues to shrink at a very rapid rate. The diminishing water level has created large sink holes and disruption of underground water tables, among other problems, with a harmful effect on tourism and everyday life. With the construction of The Dead Sea -Med Canal Project, we can than replenish the Dead Sea water levels and thereby revitalize tourism and provide employment opportunities and secondary small businesses in the area. The unique Dead Sea environment, including the ability for people to float effortlessly, will be preserved in designated areas; returning the Dead to its desirable water level will reinvigorate hotels and other tourist facilities which are now far from the water’s edge.

So? When do we take the first step?

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Open Data City of the Future

"The first step in becoming an Innovative "Smart City" begins with the collection, acquisition and analyses of all municipal data into a centralized data platform by a communal Innovate Team. The huge potential of an Innovative Team is that a municipality can use the analyzed data to address common problems or challenges faced by the constituency while inspiring entrepreneurship as well as new innovative solutions for civic improvements." Yakov Marks Chief Data Officer *MTDAAT (Ma'a lot-Tarshiha Data Acquisition and Analysis Team

"The data that an Innovative Team can acquire through open and free access from across all the municipal sources, needs to be analyzed and shared openly with free access across all city departments. Thereby unlocking the barriers that once blocked the municipality's potential to solve problems, instill change, foster enterprise and inspire the constituency.
By analyzing existing and incoming data an Innovative Team can provide new solutions, create ways to implement them and measure the results." Yakov Marks Chief Data Officer *MTDAAT (Ma'a lot-Tarshiha Data Acquisition and Analysis Team
  • In most cities the varied sources of municipal data are as though they come from "Tower of Babel" of feudal lands. 
  • Information in most municipalities is not shared causing "Data Stagnation".
  • The issue is how to formalize, accumulate, analyze and interpret the different forms of data-sets from city wide departments and sources into one finite set.
"Cities are composed of various departments with software-intensive systems that support the operation of modern municipal departments. Information systems help manage the various day by day processes in the departments. However, many departments are not linked to a central data bank or city-wide hub. The information from one department that may be essential for the answer to a problem in another department may not be realized due to the non-communication and sharing that could be realized through "open-data"."

The true value of data is measured by the positive action taken as a result of understanding the data. A Joint Municipal Data platform will help governments identify specific, measurable goals founded on actual data to help them become more operationally efficient, effectively meet constituent needs, and create economic growth in their communities.
New administrations are often elected based on specific improvement platforms. Sharing Municipal Data openly helps ensure that those promises are being addressed appropriately and proactively. Since all programs and projects have milestones or goals that can be measured and tracked an Open Data Dashboard could be instigated as an important part to display progress of staying on track, on budget, and promoting the success of any project. Additionally, by providing transparency into how goals are progressing, it demonstrates to the constituency that progress is being made and money is being invested wisely.

 What is "Big Data"

Big data is often characterized by 3Vs:
  • the extreme volume of data,
  • the wide variety of data types and
  •  the velocity at which the data must be processed.

Although big data doesn't equate to any specific volume of data, the term is often used to describe terabytes, petabytes and even exabytes of data captured over time.
“Voluminous data” can come from myriad different sources, such as business sales records, the collected results of scientific experiments or real-time sensors used in the internet of things.
Data may be raw or preprocessed using separate software tools before analytics are applied.

In General:
  • Open data has become a hallmark of good government because of its well documented return on investment for the public.
  • Open Data is a valuable information resource helping local small businesses compete with large companies.
  • Unlike the previous Industrial Revolutions, which were topped by how much information we could transmit and receive, we were limited by how much information we can process and act upon.
  • This digitalization of everything implies that we are increasingly reliant on analytics to enhance productivity and recognize the fundamental fact that at the heart of all smart-infrastructure, is data.
  • What used to take months or weeks now occurs in real time.
  • Today’s level of decision-making requires information that is current in the hands of every user when they need it.
"The digital telegraph of the 21st century is analytics built directly into IoT processes."
We are at the cusp of a brand-new fourth Industrial Revolution; which is building upon the third. It is characterized by a fusion of technologies that blurs the lines between physical, digital, and biological worlds.
Key areas that can be significantly impacted by the opportunities big data offers; include the health, safety, movement or traffic flow, and revenue systems that sustain inhabitants.
Cities striving to become more responsive must have a "stack" of essential building blocks, said Crawford.

  • First municipalities need fiber Internet connections; so that large data files can be shared securely, quickly and seamlessly among city staffers,along with
  • data sensors and
  • CCTV for live "real -time" monitoring positioned at key locations like city bridges, tunnels, and major roadways to help identify problems and repairs

Then, they should publish collected public data and share it across city government and with the public, and have data scientists study the numbers to discern trouble spots that will drive government action and perhaps policy.
Making the collected data open is a critical component of responsiveness. "It's important because open data—well visualized—allows employees to see other agencies, it allows residents to hold their city hall responsible, but also because it provides data that can lead to breakthroughs and solutions" from inside and outside government

Because cities may have thousands of datasets across multiple servers, databases, and computers, it’s helpful to narrow down which datasets should be included in the inventory overall and how to plan for inventory updates in the future.

This collection of data from varied sources and departments is made possible by a thoroughly trained Municipal staff.  The Municipal Analytic Team then utilize the acquired data and analytic systems and processes to recommend and facilitate projects for the good of the constituents (residents).

The changing nature of the technologies themselves and our urban environments are turning into landscapes populated by more and more connected “Things”. The "Thing" are equipped with many different sensors for data capture and analytics. This is driving a growing need for inter-operable platforms and standards that give more players wider access to city data.

This digitalization of everything implies that we are increasingly reliant on analytics to enhance productivity and recognize the fundamental fact that at the heart of all smart-infrastructure, is data.

The first step to treating your city’s data as an asset is to create a comprehensive data inventory with consistent metadata and to establish a clear authority body to oversee the data inventory process is key to success.
Knowing what data your city collects leads to efficiency, and increases accountability. It also eases citywide reporting, decision making, and performance optimization.
Managing a data inventory reduces risk and uncertainty by creating a checklist for security and compliance requirements and improves a city’s ability to designate accountability for the quality of the data collected and created.
A municipality gains the ability to deliver results by its acceptance and creation of a culture of using its data assets., enhanced abilities to properly and efficiently access the information collected from archived municipal files, in various city department and from the public sector in a centralized data platform.
Because cities may have thousands of datasets across multiple servers, databases, and computers, it’s helpful to narrow down which datasets should be included in the inventory overall and how to plan for inventory updates in the future.
This collection of data from varied sources and departments is made possible by a thoroughly trained Municipal staff.  The Municipal Analytic Team then utilize the acquired data and analytic systems and processes to recommend and facilitate projects for the good of the constituents (residents).
Today's digitalization of everything implies that we are increasingly reliant on analytics to enhance productivity and recognize the fundamental fact that at the heart of all smart-infrastructure, is data.
Because cities may have thousands of datasets across multiple servers, databases, and computers, it’s helpful to narrow down which datasets should be included in the inventory overall and how to plan for inventory updates in the future.
The datasets worth inventorying (collecting and inputing) are those which are considered assets to employees, departments, executive leadership, and the general public.
Data assets can range from individual datasets that are connected to forms that people fill out, to integrated databases that track a city’s operations in any given field (building permits, public safety responses, etc.)

Just as it is important for cities to know what data they have, it’s equally important to know what data a city does not have. With a complete picture, cities can begin to collect and use city data to better align mission goals, increase consistency and confidence in decision making, and build performance intelligence.
Managing a data inventory is crucial to better information sharing and integration and a sustainable comprehensive open data program. Providing a public data inventory will make city employees’ jobs easier when they need information from another department - they will know what exists and how to find it. The same benefits apply to the public regarding its search for city information. Having a complete inventory is also important when determining which datasets to release publicly.
It’s not feasible to release all of a city’s public datasets at once, so decisionmakers need a prioritization strategy. The data inventory can be used to prioritize the release of data according to strategic priorities, public interest, etc.
Cities striving to become more responsive must have a "stack" of essential building blocks, said Crawford.
·         First, they need fiber connections so that large data files can be shared quickly and seamlessly among city staffers,
·         along with data sensors positioned at key locations like city bridges, tunnels, and major roadways to help identify problems and repairs.
Then, they should publish collected public data and share it across city government and with the public, and have data scientists study the numbers to discern trouble spots that will drive government action and perhaps policy.
Understanding the pulse of life through the use of sensors to improve quality of life in cities.
Making the collected data open is a critical component of responsiveness. "It's important because open data—well visualized—allows employees to see other agencies, it allows residents to hold their city hall responsible, but also because it provides data that can lead to breakthroughs and solutions" from inside and outside government.

 Advantages of a Data Platform:

A Municipal Data platform enables City Managers and Mayors to extract maximum value from their available budgets.
A Data platform provides real-time access for operational staff to the repository data, thereby providing department heads the ability to intervene or modify plans on the fly if circumstances require.
Through the use of a Municipal platform the City Constituent Care Service and Response center has real-time access to constituent residential and service data to allow incoming queries to be handled on-the-spot, thereby minimizing call-out costs and improving customer service levels.
Furthermore, the Municipal Data Platform can rapidly assimilate, assess and act on data thereby showing the constituents that the Municipality is listening and is responsive.
A Municipal Data platform is a framework that allows for the distributed processing of large data sets across clusters of computers using simple programming models. It is designed to scale up from single servers to thousands of machines, each offering local computation and storage. Rather than rely on hardware to deliver high-availability, the library itself is designed to detect and handle failures at the application layer, so delivering a highly-available service on top of a cluster of computers, each of which may be prone to failures.
Predictive Analytics SaaS (Software as a service) solutions are based on proprietary Machine Learning Big-Data algorithms, guaranteeing real time accurate and reliable predictions, in a fully automated, plug-and-play manner. The data and predictions are presented with advanced visual tools, enabling end users to self-explore, gain insights and comprehend the data, without requiring any statistical background.
The Big Data engine provides real-time accurate load forecasts at the highest level of granularity - the meter / appliance and sub-hour levels. Due to the engine's self-learning capabilities, it models and monitors each meter separately, learns its patterns and behavior, automatically fits its appropriate model and senses its early warnings for irregularities, guaranteeing real-time accurate energy forecasts and actionable insights.
The data and predictions are presented with advanced visual tools, enabling the end user to self-explore, gain insights and comprehend the data, run simulations and impact analysis, view correlations, create 'what if' scenarios and more, without requiring any technical or statistical background.
While most Predictive Analytics solutions require extensive services of data mining experts for the designing, implementation and support, Grid4C provides a fully automated solution that is easy to implement, and does not require on-going support of analysts. The Grid4C distinctive self-learning engine enables to implement the products in a plug-and-play manner.
By freely collecting and combining data from municipal departments Open Data can provide valuable insights into how any city works and how departments may better serve the constituency as well as those that live and work in the city.
Over the past decade, the scope and content of data related to government activities has changed dramatically. The sheer quantity of data available for public consumption, the way in which it is structured and how datasets are used has the potential to impact program planning, analysis and evaluation at the local government level
"That is why our research focus is the intersection of government and data, ranging from open data and predictive analytics to civic engagement technology. We seek to promote the combination of integrated, cross-agency data with community data to better discover and preemptively address civic problems."

The steps to becoming a "Smart City" begins with "Big Data".

First steps:
·         Data Collection and Acquisition
·         Establish the sharing of data and laying the groundwork for inter-departmental cooperation
·         Creating a trained internal work force.
Second Step:
Data Analyses and processing by a coordinated data analytic team
Third Step:
Recommendations for solutions based on established data by a Chief Analytic Officer.
Final Step:
A Smart City

How to Create Your Data Catalog (Inventory)

The first major task for the Data Coordinators is to create a data catalog (or inventory) of your department’s data.
Follow the 3 major steps below to conduct your data inventory:
1.      Identify data sources
2.      Brainstorm and identify datasets in each data source
3.      Complete dataset inventory template (for each dataset)
Step 1: Identify data sources
Your data may be housed in a variety of places - from inside information systems or databases to shared drives and folders. This can also include 3rd party vendors and data hosted on vendor systems. Step 1 is about identifying the major data sources in your department.
·         Questions to help identify and discover data sources:
·         What information systems does your department use?
·         What databases does your department use?
·         What applications capture information or are used in your business processes?
·         Are some data resources kept in spreadsheets (on shared or individual drives)?
·         What information are we already publishing and where did that information come from?
For each of the data sources:
·         Provide a name and brief description of the data sources
·         Capture any technical details and point of contacts.

Regarding Smartphone Applications and Sympathetic Constituent Call Service Centers:

Tom Saunders, a researcher at England-based research and innovation foundation Nesta stated that residents can also be tapped as walking repositories of useful data.
"Cities are covered in a network of people who all have smartphones, it’s a fruitful way to make the cities smarter."
To run the smartest cities, residents need to not only be informed but to also be ready to lead the charge. "It has to start from the people up," said David Gershon, founder of the Empowerment Institute.
Advanced big data technologies can provide municipal governments unprecedented opportunities to proactively change the lives of their citizenry, all through the use of data.
A "responsive" city is one that uses the information generated by its interactions with residents to better understand and predict the needs of neighborhoods, to measure the effectiveness of city agencies and workers, to identify waste and fraud, to increase transparency, and, most importantly, to solve problems
"Cities are organized vertically, and people live horizontally. Data-Smart City Solutions focuses on local government efforts to improve citizen-city engagement through technology.”
“By using its own data and social media, a city "should learn what its citizens are saying about their needs and the issues in their communities; it should learn across agencies about the solutions to problems; it should learn from the data about good actors and bad actors,"
“Data drives decision-making and it drives a lot of the services we all consume… Publishing the data allows everyone inside the city and outside to go in and add intelligence and services on top of it.” Peter Marx, Chief Technology Officer for the City of Los Angeles

Regarding Internet access:

"Without citizen access to reliable, high speed broadband and/or WIFI, the participation rates in studies to determine what gaps smart cities technologies can fill may not be accurately identified. Smart city technology should not happen in ivory towers, but must foster better citizen engagement. “Jim Kurose, assistant director of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate.
"Broadband is “a critical utility” like power or water and citizens need it to advance." Hugh Miller Chief Technology Officer, San Antonio, Texas

Data-Driven Performance Indicators:

Local governments strive to represent and serve their constituents well. Data-driven metrics ensure that everyone is speaking the same language as they continue to solve problems efficiently. By publishing and tracking key metrics on an Open Data Dashboard, residents can respond accordingly by making their voices heard through direct feedback and voting at the polls.
  • Create goals based on the latest data uploaded to the system and reflected on the Open Data Dashboard across as many departmental or functional areas as needed
  • Use data applications to easily reflect fresh uploaded data with minimal human intervention.
  • Organize your goals from a single Open Data Dashboard that shows the status of all goals from a single view
  • Through the use of the Open Data Dashboard you can scale your performance program up or down as needed, expanding to additional areas, or by focusing on the top priorities for your government. 

The roles and general responsibilities in support of open data.

Role
General Responsibilities
Data Coordinators
Data Coordinators are designated for each department as the main point of contact and accountability for open data in their department. General responsibilities include:
·         Inventorying department data sets
·         Establishing a plan and timeline for publishing them
·         Serving as a key point of accountability for timelines and questions about data sets
·         Implementing privacy, data licensing, metadata and other standards and practices
·         Providing quarterly reports on progress in implementing the open data plan
Chief Data Officer

The Chief Data Officer is designated by the Mayor and is accountable for the city’s overall implementation of the open data policy. General responsibilities include:
·         Creating processes, rules and standards to implement the open data policy, including but not limited to:
o   Prioritizing data sets for publication
o   Determining what datasets are appropriate for public disclosure
o   Creating data licensing and metadata standards and guidelines
o   Providing guidance and assistance to City departments in releasing open data
o   Providing guidance and assistance to City departments in assessing and, where appropriate, improving the accuracy, completeness, interoperability and other quality dimensions of data
o   Facilitating creation of department implementation plans and reporting
·         Maintaining the open data website
·         Presenting an annual citywide implementation plan for open data
·         Assisting departments with analysis of city datasets.
Data Stewards
Data Stewards are individuals in charge of individual databases, datasets, or information systems. In general, a data steward has business knowledge of the data and can answer questions about the data itself. General responsibilities likely include:
·         Managing the dataset or source and authorizing changes to it
·         Managing access to and use of the data, including documentation
·         Managing accuracy, quality and completeness of the data.
Data Custodian

Data Custodians are individuals that assist with the technical implementation of individual databases, datasets, or information systems. Not all systems or data sources will have a data custodian. General responsibilities likely include:
·         Implementing technical changes requested by the data steward
·         Administration and maintenance for the database or system.

Notable Quotes:

"Residents can also be tapped as walking repositories of useful data since cities are covered in a network of people who all have smartphones. It’s a fruitful way to make the cities smarter." Tom Saunders, a researcher at England-based research and innovation foundation Nesta.

Businesses want to locate in smart communities. Why? Because being a part of a progressive city says good things about their brand. Plus, smart cities attract technical professionals and members of the creative class, a boon for recruiting qualified candidates.

 “We know that using data and technology has the ability to improve the quality of lives of our residents,” “I am proud of the work we have done, and we will continue our focus on bettering city services through new and innovative approaches.Mayor of Boston Massachusetts, Martin J. Walsh

A municipality gains the ability to deliver results by its acceptance and creation of a culture of using its data assets., enhanced abilities to properly and efficiently access the information collected from archived municipal files, in various city department and from the public sector in a centralized data platform.

The importance of sharing "Big Data" (Government data) is an asset whose value otherwise is capped at the operational value it produces internally.
Opening "Big Data" to the public redeploys this asset to encourage entrepreneurialism and innovation outside the four corners of city hall.
Advanced big data technologies can provide municipal governments unprecedented opportunities to proactively change the lives of their citizenry, all through the use of data.
A "responsive" city is one that uses the information generated by its interactions with residents to better understand and predict the needs of neighborhoods, to measure the effectiveness of city agencies and workers, to identify waste and fraud, to increase transparency, and, most importantly, to solve problems.

"Cities are organized vertically, and people live horizontally. Data-Smart City Solutions focuses on local government efforts to improve citizen-city engagement through technology.”
“By using its own data and social media, a city "should learn what its citizens are saying about their needs and the issues in their communities; it should learn across agencies about the solutions to problems; it should learn from the data about good actors and bad actors,"
There is a high importance in the need for the sharing of collected data, whether locally produced or nationally produced. “Sharing” of collected data should be carried out to encourage not only savings in expenditures on the; municipal, state and National level but to encourage entrepreneurialism and innovation as well.

Unshared data is an asset whose beneficial value and potential monetary or budgetary gains to the local and national government, as well as public, is “unrealized” if it is "capped or restricted" at the source. By restricting access to this pool of data. its actual or true value will never be realized.

By opening the acquired "Big Data" to the managers of government departments and offices, they can gain unknown knowledge that was previously overlooked which could be beneficial to them on several levels.
"Yes, open data should be a big part of smart cities policies but there's also need to create the demand for it, the smarter cities are the ones that are able to transparently dish this data out well in advance before discussing future infrastructure projects." Tom Saunders, a researcher at England-based research and innovation foundation Nesta.

Cities are sitting on masses of data. Exposing open data for citizens, developers and businesses can unleash innovation and city efficiency and new monetization opportunities.

Eventually, data could even be shared across cities to support wider innovations, a smart region and a smart nation