How Open Data can facilitate urban development
The German town of Oberursel has organised the "Oberursel in dialogue" project week from 1 to 10 September. The aim of the project is to enter into a dialogue with citizens on the town's development and to provide inspiration for a redesign of the Oberursel town centre. Open Data played an important role in creating a brand new town centre.
The German company con terra is sponsoring the project week and has created the basic Minecraft world for the game "Oberurselcraft". Minecraft is a popular game, enabling players to build constructions out of textured cubes in a 3D world - a kind of digital Lego. In Oberurselcraft, players could transform and redesign the urban area around the station as they wish. This part of the town was able to be faithfully reproduced in Minecraft by using official and open geodata. Data from OpenStreetMap, building data in City-GML format, and data from the town's tree registry were processed. With the aid of FME software, the geodata was harmonised, edited and exported into a Minecraft world in an automated process.
No limits are set on imagination when it comes to how the 3-D model of the town can be transformed in Minecraft. "Oberurselcraft" thus creates an incentive for citizens to play a role in urban design in a fun way, especially for younger citizens - a good example of open government and new approaches to e-participation.