Pedestrian Flow with Always Blue
Pilots in Saint-Quentin
How can we use pedestrian flow data to improve local decision making?
- Project: Capture pedestrian flow to improve local decision making
- Location: Historical city-center of Saint-Quentin, France, 56,000 inhabitants
- Challenge: Reusing pedestrian flow data to optimize local decision making
- Solution: Data-based solution capturing pedestrian flows and mix it with other data to understand how people are using public space
Saint-Quentin organized a consultation with local stakeholders about challenges faced by the retail activity. A shared need emerged concerning the access to data related to pedestrian flows in commercial city center. Such data are considered as a valuable material to improve activities and decision making of local stakeholders like working on future commercial implementations and on potential attractivity of ongoing activities. The expected output is a solution that allows to understand how people use public space thanks to:
- A GDPR solution offering a continuous count of pedestrian flows in city center
- A correlation analysis mixing pedestrian data with other ones (event calendar, weather)
- Providing to local stakeholders an access to consult and visualize these data.
The challenge is taking in charge by Always Blue is a start-up creating IoT solutions for smart cities. The company is specialized in IOT for public spaces and geolocated human-machine interactions: hardware, SaaS platforms, data production. Always Blue aims to create a solution based on the value and the virtue of Open IoT. It will take the form of a network of connected boxes capable of scanning MAC addresses of smartphones via their Wi-Fi antennas and to exchange with each other to follow the path of certain MAC addresses, chosen at random and at regular intervals. The anonymous data will be transmitted by each box to a central server, which will draw up population flow maps. The data collection platform will allow visual and temporal analysis of the data as well as cross-referencing with other data to facilitate the prediction of the behavior of population flows.
We defined all parameters needed before a real implementation :
- Validation of the specifications of the technical device and the overall architecture in order to be able to capture the reality of pedestrian flows in the city center (see the image below)
- Consultation of local stakeholders involved in this project (Chamber of Commerce, City of Saint-Quentin, local retailer association, commercial developers) in order to define what are their specific interest in term of data measurement, analysis and visualization.
- Dealing technically with GDPR and data security issue. The box processes local data related to MAC addresses and then transmits anonymized statistical results. A unique data encryption key will be added to each box to ensure that all data are crypted.