Live Singapore!*


making decisions in sync with the environment

LIVE Singapore! provides people with access to a range of useful real-time information about their city by developing an open platform for the collection, elaboration and distribution of real-time data that reflect urban activity. Giving people visual and tangible access to real-time information about their city enables them to take their decisions more in sync with their environment, with what is actually happening around them.

a feedback loop between people, their actions, and the city

People moving within a city in most cases base their decisions on information that is static and that does not reflect the actual state of systems and dynamics in their city (think of printed transportation time tables, static opening hours, driving to stores to find a product out of stock,…). Companies and local authorities instead increasingly do manage their networks in real-time, always being aware of the current state of the system. The so generated data however is kept segregated, and while useful for each individual network’s operation, it potentially contains much more value when put to creative use in new application scenarios that combine data from different sources, making it accessible to users.

LIVE Singapore! closes the feedback loop between people moving in the city and the digital real-time data collected in multiple networks. It gives the data back to the people who themselves generate it through their actions, allowing them to be more in sync with their environment as well as to taking decisions on the basis of information that reflect the actual state of their city.

To achieve this, LIVE Singapore! consists in the development of an open platform for the collection, the combination and fusion as well as the distribution of real-time data that originate from a large number of different sources.

This platform is not aimed at one single application, instead it rather resembles an ecosystem and a toolbox for real-time data that describe urban dynamics. Building on this platform, a community of developers can build multiple applications in a joint effort which harnesses the creative potential of citizens in extracting new value from real-time data.


In developing LIVE Singapore!, the project addresses research related to the following areas:

Urban real-time data platform

Development of a platform that allows collecting, processing and distributing real-time data that originates in the city. Instead of focusing on any one specific application or limited number and type of data stream, this project explores up solutions that can cater for a large number of streams of very different kind of data, emphasizing the possibility of creatively combining multiple streams in the subsequent design of applications on top of the platform. As many users will be using this system simultaneously, key aspects will comprise building a scalable and distributed infrastructure to smoothly distribute loads between platform and application providers without affecting the overall performance of the system.

Flexible & Accessible API

Developing a platform for a many different types of real-time data, connector modules are critical. Emphasize is put on devising an API structure that creates an appropriate balance between the required structure of data feeds and maintaining a high level of flexibility related to enabling the connection of streams with little effort on data preparation on the supplier side. The API development is aimed at enabling a data query mechanism that allows users with little programming experience to easily tap the data pool brought together on the platform.

Interface and interaction models for a real-time data platform

Two dimensional layered views have long been the most common way of representing and interacting with geo-referenced datasets. Developing LIVE Singapore! as a platform for a large number of diverse data streams, new models are being explored to gain access to and leverage these data streams of time and location based data streams. As Singapore is a vertical city, we explore how to structure real-time data streams using 3 dimensional models and how to visually access this information efficiently.

Query and search

In the context of the real-time data platform, a critical aspect concerns ways of efficiently finding, and using these streams in a meaningful way. Users don’t search for static data only, but real-time information that can change quickly: “where is the nearest store with my favorite product?” or “where are the most crowded bars?”. The project leverages recent findings in semantic web technologies to annotate places, data, and devices so that they can be processed automatically.

Visualization tools for urban data

On a higher level, LIVE Singapore! investigates techniques to efficiently generate visualizations that help extrapolate meaning from the vastness of data produced by a city. In particular, emphasize is put on developing a framework that allows designers to easily integrate, filter and recombine data streams and display the results in various forms (maps, plots, …).


data visualization collage

The LIVE Singapore! exhibition is co-organised with the Singapore Art Museum and presents five different perspectives into Singapore’s urban dynamics using graphic visualisations of selected digital data generated by people in Singapore and their actions. Employing real-time data recorded and captured by a vast system of communication devices, microcontrollers and sensors commonly found in our urban environment and mapping this information onto multi-dimensional maps of Singapore, this geographical information system merges cartography, statistical analysis and data platform technology. It suggests new ways to view, understand, and ultimately navigate our city, like never before. This presentation is a convergence of art, digital media and information technology. It demonstrates the potential of this new form of visual language and its capacity to reveal interesting social, economic and mobility patterns. Singapore, the real-time city is now truly, real!


Singapore Art Museum

The Singapore Art Museum (SAM)

The exhibition runs from April 8th until May 1st, 2011 at SAM in the Chapel space at:
71 Bras Basah Road, Singapore 189555.
Monday to Sunday: 10am to 7pm
Friday: 10am to 9pm
Admission to the Chapel space is free.
More information:

The Singapore Art Museum (SAM) is one of Singapore’s most revered cultural institutions, having amassed one of the world’s largest public collections of modern and contemporary Southeast Asian artworks. SAM also promotes an active and stimulating cultural environment, exemplified as the host and organizer of the 2011 Singapore Biennale.


Marina Bay City Gallery

Marina Bay City Gallery

Starting April 14th until 14th May two of the projections developed for SAM will also be shown at URA’s Marina Bay City Gallery (MBCG) at 11 Marina Boulevard, Singapore 018940.

MBCG Opening hours
Tuesday – Friday: 10am to 8pm
Saturday, Sunday, Public Holiday: 10am to 9pm
Admission is free.
More information:

Developed by the Urban Redevelopment Authority, the Marina Bay City Gallery is housed in a specially designed two-storey building along Marina Bay Boulevard fronting the new waterfront promenade (MRT stations Marina Bay and Raffles Place). The city gallery showcases the story of Singapore’s urban transformation and the development of Marina Bay through innovative exhibits. It is designed as a self-discovery gallery and is easily navigable without the need for a guide.





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