Vienna’s public space is the face and figurehead of the city. The Vienna City Administration is in charge of providing a fair organisational and legal framework for using public space in Vienna. Wien gibt Raum reorganises official responsibilities for managing public space and authorising structures and activities in public space. The legal requirements are also evaluated and modernised in the course of the project. The project includes the collection of image data covering all existing structures in public space. Special cars are used for this form of surveying, which is called “mobile mapping”. The data and images are fed into a software that allows the City of Vienna to make using public space simpler for everyone, benefiting both the local population and businesses.
No. Respect for individual privacy is just as crucial to the City of Vienna as it is to you. Therefore the images recorded are governed by the strict Austrian privacy regulations and registered with the official data protection authority. For example, all individuals pictured are completely anonymised, and car license plate numbers are pixelated. Moreover, the cameras do not record anything a tall person would not see with the naked eye.
The images are needed for a software that enables the City of Vienna to make using public space simpler for everyone – both businesses and the local population. In future, you can simply send an online application if you are planning to hold an event in public space, e.g. a neighbourhood get-together, or if you want to make structural changes that impact public space, such as setting up an outdoor seating area for a cafe or restaurant. Based on the images, the responsible departments can find out about details like pavement width etc. without having to send staff to inspect the site.
The City of Vienna has commissioned a specialised surveying company that records highly detailed images of public space. The images as such remain the property of the City of Vienna. The cars recording the images are not related to any similar initiatives implemented by private companies.
While the images are recorded, they are only accessible to the staff of the surveying company tasked with collecting and anonymising the image data. After that, during the first project phase, the anonymised image data are disclosed exclusively to staff members of the municipal departments in charge of public space management. During the second phase, a decision is taken about whether the anonymised images will also be available to the public as open data.
In the first project phase, the images are only collected for internal use by the Vienna City Administration. In the second phase, a decision is taken about whether and/or in what form the anonymised images will be publicly available as open data.
No, the project “Wien gibt Raum” is in no way related to Google Street View or any other application by private companies.
The City of Vienna needs high-resolution images, i.e. very detailed data that can be used for measuring objects and distances. What is more, Vienna’s entire public space must be recorded for the project, and new images are needed at regular intervals to make sure the data is always up to date. This is why the City of Vienna has organised its own vehicle-based surveying project.
Of course, vehicle-based surveying with camera cars causes certain costs. With its project Wien gibt Raum, however, the City of Vienna follows well-founded advice, notably a recommendation by the Court of Audit to record all road signs and floor markings in the city. The project also ensures that the image data can be used by many different departments of the Vienna City Administration, reducing the need for time-intensive and costly on-site inspections. Wien gibt Raum is also meant to ensure everyone who uses public space in Vienna contributes a fair share to the public good by paying the statutory fees.
- From September 2017 until May 2018 image data were collected, there are minor data collections throughout fall 2018 to close gaps
- The image service and its software will be installed and launched in early January 2018
- The service is scheduled for roll-out by Ocotber 2018 for the employees of the city administration
- In the beginning of 2019 the first applications for uses of public space will be available online
- From 2020 onwards, processes will be implemented fully digital end-to-end
If you have any further questions about the project that are not answered on the website www.wiengibtraum.at, please feel free to contact the City Information Centre by phone (01 525 50) or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.