With a goal of providing the public and policymakers with easy access to vital information about their city in order to empower more informed decision-making, Cork City and County Councils in collaboration with Maynooth University and Science Foundation Ireland developed the Cork Dashboard. Additionally, Local authorities wished to provides citizens, public sector workers and companies with real-time information, time-series indicator data, and interactive maps about all aspects of Cork County and City.

The information from the Cork Dashboard is drawn from data providers including local authorities, Transport Infrastructure Ireland, the Central Statistics Office and government departments. A number of real-time, interactive maps and data-sets give users the ability to track changes as they happen.  

Potential applications for users include: 

Cork Citizens: to plan their commute, to compare property prices and planning permission information and even report issues such as broken street lights and potholes. 

Public Officials: review up-to-the-minute vital statistics e.g. prevalence of crime, health data and pollution levels, making planning more efficient and effective. 

Foreign Direct Investment: visual representations for cost of living and economic performance for companies considering investment and for advocacy groups e.g. IDA. 

Tourism: allow potential visitors plan their trip with greater ease and in more detail, e.g. check transport options, hotel availability and bathing water quality on beaches. 

The Cork Dashboard is funded by a €2.3 million 4 year grant from Science Foundation Ireland (Grant number 15/IA/3090). The project was funded as Ireland is seeking to be recognised as a global leaders in data dashboard visualisation and in how it engages with it’s citizens. Through SFI, Maynooth University and their collaborative relationship with City and County Councils across Dublin, Cork and Donegal/Derry this is becoming a reality. SFI funded the dashboard on the auspices that the coding for the dashboard be open sourced and that any region across the globe would be able to replicate the dashboard. The source coding is available on https://github.com.   

The technical team in Maynooth is comprised of 2 x software developers, 4 x post-doctoral researchers, 3 x PhD students, 1 x project coordinator and a semi-funded administrator. Cork City and County Councils provided match funding input of local co-ordinators to interact with the team from Maynooth.  

The Dashboard makes a significant contribution to enhancing Cork.  

  • Example of strong collaboration between academia, citizens and local authorities resulting in a valuable resource for all. Public authorities fully supportive of utilising the dashboard to drive new innovations, empower citizens, and enable better decision making.
  • Plethora of Media attention National/Local Newspapers/Radio
  • More data being added on a weekly basis including: Pedestrian footfall data; EPA Sensors to measure air-quality

Image: The Cork Dashboard Interface at a Glance.

Claire Davis Project Coordinator Smart Cities and Communities at Cork City Council – who worked with Maynooth on the Cork Dashboard project is cognisant of the challenges which remain for the Dashboard and its users. “Privacy, security concerns, data misinterpretation or interpreted negatively are all reasons why agencies refrain from being involved and further efforts need to be made to encourage participants to provide data. Additionally, encouraging people to use data and to add value to it is a further challenge.” 

Dr John Hobbs, the Cork Institute of Technology ecoRIS3 co-ordinator suggests "that the Cork Dashboard is an extremely useful resource for local residents in Cork but also for external users who may be interested in moving to Cork. It’s a very interesting ever evolving project which we are delighted to share with the ecoRIS3 partnership, and very interested to have their feedback and comments to make the dashboard even more useful.” 

For Further information on the Cork Dashboard see the livestreams and data available on http://www.corkdashboard.ie/pages/index