This week we are featuring IGNITE Finalist Paul Geurts from the Netherlands. In this interview, Paul tells us a little about what sparked his interest in geography, and why he’s excited about the IGNITE competition. Paul also shares insight on the Smart M.App his team is developing, Smart Emission M.App.
Q: Where are you from?
A: I’m from the City of Nijmegen, a city in the east of the Netherlands near the German border with 160,000 citizens. It has a progressive appearance, but it is also the oldest City in the Netherlands with a Roman history. Nijmegen is famous for its International Four Days Marches event, taking place annually in July. The city of Nijmegen is also the European Green Capital City for 2018.
Q: Where did you attend school and what did you study? Why did you choose this subject?
A: I studied Geoinformation at the Utrecht University, because of the combination of geography, physics, and ICT – and a congenital love for maps.
Q: Where do you currently work? What is your job? What are your responsibilities?
A: I am the Strategic Advisor and Innovator in Information Management at the Municipality of Nijmegen. For the Smart Emission Project, which is where this SmartM.App originates, I’m the Co-Project Manager together with Linda Carton of Radboud University. My focus is on Smart Government and Smart Cities, mostly how these concepts change the government and its relationship to the city.
Q: What are some of your favorite things to do during your free time?
A: During my free time, I like to spend time with my family and play guitar. I also love outdoor sports, such as running, mountain biking, bootcamp, and hiking.
Q: Where did your interest in geospatial/mapping/information services come from?
A: As I said before, the combination of geography and ICT is the perfect combination. I was looking for an education based on these two subjects and a invitation from the Dutch Cadaster made me decide to start with Geo-information.
Q: How did you hear about IGNITE?
A: A local Hexagon Geospatial partner, Imagem informed us about this competition.
Q: Why are you excited about this competition?
A: It is exciting to build a Smart M.App as part of a competition. We have the opportunity to work with new and innovative software and become known within the community within this competition. We’re also excited because we think our project can have a global impact for cities that are dealing with air pollution. That is something we want to share.
Q: What is the problem your Smart M.App addresses?
A: The Smart M.App we are developing visualizes our sensors in the Smart Emission Network for citizens, industry and government. It gives insight to the sensor measurements in relation to time and location. The Smart M.App marks a starting point for discussing measures in the public space in working together on air and noise pollution. Without insight, the sensors have no value. The Smart M.App adds this value to the sensors and binds all participants in this Smart City project.
Q: What is your Smart M.App called?
A: We call our Smart M.App the “Smart Emission M.App”.
Q: What IGNITE Theme does it support?
A: Our Smart M.App supports Conservation.
Q: What does it do?
A: The Smart M.App we are developing visualizes the sensors in the Smart Emission Network for citizens, industry and government. It gives insight in the sensor measurements in relation to time and location.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish with your Smart M.App?
A: We hope to support the global discussion on Air and Noise pollution with an independent, low cost, plug-and-play sensor network. The Smart M.App contributes to the discussion between government and citizens ensuring cooperation based on equality of each member in the network.