Detroit officials discuss innovative street view program at GovEx

Jul 6, 2023 | Blog, Press Releases

Last week, GovEx and our sister center, the Bloomberg Center for Government Innovation (BCPI), together with 21st Century Cities hosted a presentation from Detroit officials Tamara Fant and Ted Schultz, who discussed their innovative Street View program.

In 2018, the city of Detroit procured the technology to expand their street view images and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) readings throughout the city. This has allowed them to generate a wide range of data on transportation, street, sidewalk, and curb quality and maintenance, the location of fire hydrants, construction projects, and much more. The data has proven to be tremendously useful across multiple different departments. The data generated are also released to the public, which allows for citizen innovation.

In addition to GovEx, BCPI, 21st Century Cities staff, over a dozen different Baltimore officials attended, as did several Johns Hopkins faculty members.

Baltimore City staff were eager to learn from Detroit’s example and to consider the possibility for similar innovations here. Several JHU faculty members, as part of the 21st Century Cities Initiative, have received a small grant to pilot the use of LiDAR images here in Baltimore, and are hopeful that this short pilot will lead to greater collaborative opportunities.