Cities, Data and iSensing: A Brief Exploration

“In God we trust, all others bring data”. 

W. Edwards Deming, American Statistician and Engineer

In today’s blog post Liam, iSensing’s Urban Data Analyst and MSc student at CASA UCL, discusses his work around cities and data.

Cities are Living Laboratories. They are interconnected ecosystems that ebb and flow. We are just beginning to sketch out a Science of Cities, one that makes use urban analysis and data. As an Urban Data Analyst working at the intersection of data science, policy and design, I am preoccupied with these ideas and try to apply them in the ‘real world’.

As growing numbers of people move to urban areas, it will become increasingly important to apply urban data science and the Internet of Things (IoT) to build smarter, more resilient and data-driven cities. iSensing has applications ranging from Intelligent Mobility and sustainability through to conflict studies and disaster relief.

Since starting as an Urban Data Analyst at iSensing earlier this summer, my role has involved taking mobility data and making sense of it. I have created charts to explore how citizens move in Madrid; developed maps for public transportation services in Belo Horizonte; and collaborated with pioneering stakeholders from across academia, industry and the public sector.

Prototype Madrid Dashboard


The dashboard will be a key element of our Global Sensor Network (GSN), which provides exclusive access to movement data with the aim of solving modern urban challenges and facilitating evidence-based decision-making.









Footfall Flows Between Sensors in Madrid


I have also been working on analysing flows in Madrid. I have mapped how citizens move between the designated sensor sites, creating models and static and interactive data visualisations using the near real-time data. I am working on creating clear and bold representations of data for print and the web using a range of tools.

I think we have an important role to play in creating future cities. I look forward to continuing my work as an Urban Data Analyst at iSensing as well my studies at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) at University College London.

Liam Bolton

Urban Data Analyst at iSensing & MSc student at UCL CASA

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