Opinion: Being 'Smart' When Preparing for Hurricanes in New York City
Stories of people without wifi and power that flooded Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts calls for a more expansive internet infrastructure, Cohen argues.
"What if GPS, Wi-Fi and mobile technology were completely ubiquitous in all parts of the city, including the poorest parts? City administrators could enter in the GPS coordinates of everything from at-risk neighborhoods and rivers to the location of the nearest safe shelters, the nearest transit option to escape the city to higher ground and the nearest available potable water sources and much more. Assuming all citizens had access to GPS-enabled devices, citizens in distress could indicate with a text to 911 that they were in trouble and the GPS coordinates would be instantaneously available to first responders. With some kind of opt-in system, residents could even receive real-time text updates tied to their GPS coordinates."
"Smart Transit" hasn't arrived completely, Cohen says, but it is already on it's on the right track.
"The Helsinki Journey Planner, for example, has an open data protocol to enable city websites and third party developers to tap into the transit system and provide real-time data on transit schedules. "