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The Power of Zoom

Transforming government through location intelligence


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The increasing wealth of data provided daily by smartphones, physical sensors and the Internet – the "digital exhaust" created as a byproduct of millions of our daily lives – has given rise to new models and opportunities for government to better understand its challenges and design more effective solutions.

When location data is coupled with other online resources, every point on the map can provide valuable intelligence. Emerging geospatial technologies allow us to quickly visualise and find meaning in billions of transactions, tweets, check-ins and geo-tagged photos. For government, this new ability to visualise and understand trends at any location offers a historical and predictive perspective for policymaking to inform complex decisions about the distribution of resources or the design and delivery of public services.

But the new technology of place can provide far more. The map itself has been transformed from a static picture to a living platform for shared decision-making and real-time collaboration, adding a new dimension to the delivery of public services. Location-based data can be used to focus the energy of the crowd, empowering government and citizens to work together to respond quickly to local disasters or tackle national problems.

We call this the power of zoom, and it represents an evolution in the way government sees and interacts with the world. This report describes how governments can apply the principles of zoom to transform the way they solve problems and tackle mission critical challenges.

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