Apps that help cities be smarter

BCIT Computer Systems Technology (CST) Diploma program is in the thick of the data revolution and apps for helping cities – and their citizens – be smarter.

Student Project Showcase

Last week, 85 students showcased apps they’d created using New Westminster Open Data. The excitement was palpable as Computing students presented to New Westminster’s Mayor, three Councillors, and staff at the BCIT TEC (Technology Education and Collaboration) Hub.

Third term students competed in categories including safety, transportation, moving to the municipality, and supporting businesses. Led by CST instructor and Program Option Head Medhat Elmasry, these android apps were nurtured by the civic contacts of fellow instructor and Option Head D’Arcy Smith.

This was the second time this year that New West dignitaries visited campus to experience student projects. Guests were impressed by project creativity, range, and the potential for an app to evolve into New West initiatives as a leader in intelligent cities.

Councillor Patrick Johnstone, judging the Moving to New West-themed category, praised the “Where2Be” app created by Lucrecia Lowenstein and Yashar Nesvaderani. “The students made an app that was interactive, scalable, and fun to operate,” he reported. “It stood out in its ability for the user to adjust the algorithm and create their own ‘neighbourhood rating’ based on what the user valued in a community.”

CST Final Term Projects

Two teams of students in their final term also presented their innovations. The first is an app that helps drivers find alternate fuel sources, regardless of municipality. The second focuses on Naloxone and helping deal with Opioid overdoses.

View more pics here.

Intelligent Metro Vancouver

D’Arcy Smith with Mayor Jonathan Cote at VBOT

D’Arcy Smith also joined a Vancouver Board of Trade panel on Smart Cities: Where we are and where we are going. D’Arcy discussed student apps, his role in New West’s Intelligent City initiatives, and the Internet of Things. This included applications such as his own company’s product neartuit, which offers “indoor GPS.”

There’s a lot going on in applying technology and data to problems of everyday life, and BCIT Computer Systems Technology students are ready to contribute.


Leave a comment