DfT seeks tech partner to help develop transport data mapping tool

Department hopes data can be used to better aid transport decisions and investments

The Department for Transport (DfT) is on the hunt for a partner to help it create a mapping tool that can make use of data relating to public transport and its use.

The goal is to create a tool that presents this data in the form of an interactive map that can display a wide range of information. Such information would include current rail projects, the size of a local population and how much of its uses public transport, all with the goal of better aiding the DfT to from transport strategies and make decisions around investment.

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At the time of writing, the DfT is simply looking for tech partners to deliver a ‘discovery’ phase, whereby they look into what information will need to be collected for the proposed tool and who will use it, as well as any potential data-based issues that need to be resolved.

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This will also include looking at existing tools and an ongoing review of whether the DfT would be better off creating its own tool or using one off the shelf.

“This discovery phase is to identify what information should be included within the tool, the key users, and highlighting where this information is sourced from,” the DfT’s tender explained.

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“The primary users of the Discovery outcomes will be internal DfT users, who will use the evidence to inform consideration of options on the future development of an internal Civil Service only mapping tool. These users will include area leads who will be providing information into the tool), policy and project teams around the department, as well as senior managers and Board members who will be the customers of the tool, and who will have preferences in the type of data and the format in which it is presented.”

It’s early days for the project, but it is yet another example of how digital transformation is percolating through the public sector, offering scope for governmental departments to tap into the latest technology while providing technology suppliers opportunities to win government customers.

The DfT has larger digital transformation ambitions as well, with it aiming to be cloud-first by 2020. This seemingly ambitious task will be carried out with the help of Google Cloud.

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