Urban Information Systems @ City Lab

Sophisticated urban information systems are the natural outlets for the dissemination and utilization of the accumulated city knowledge that results from our numerous urban studies.  An example of our work in this area is the interactive web-GIS system developed for Venice through a dissertation at the Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia (IUAV).   In this division of City Lab, students will conduct research (MQPs and graduate theses) to develop comprehensive, web-based information systems for the maintenance, management and planning of cities and town.

All of the urban information systems developed at City Lab will be open-ended systems that can grow gradually and systematically in true “emergent” fashion.  City Knowledge principles will pervade all projects in this area, so that our urban information systems will allow the cumulative, distributed accrual of urban information over time with the participation of a number of contributors and with the optional ability to share locally, across department boundaries as well as regionally, across town lines.

City Lab will incubate municipal information systems in its servers on behalf of cities and towns where urban studies are being conducted by WPI students as part of the Global Perspective Program or of the Hometown Initiative.  Once these information systems have been developed and tested, they will be migrated onto final resting places, e.g. on the servers of Regional Planning Agencies (such as the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission) or onto machines operated by private service providers.


In this context, City Lab is developing an open-source, web-enabled application called LOUIS, Local On-line Urban Information System.  LOUIS is partially based on Oliver, the Massachusetts OnLIne data ViewER supported by MassGIS.


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