dtpr

Designing for Digital Transparency in the Public Realm

Digital Transparency in the Public Realm is a project that seeks to facilitate the co-creation of prototypes that can advance digital transparency and enable agency in the world’s public spaces.

With cities increasingly embracing digital technology in the built environment, we believe people should be able to quickly understand how these technologies work and the purposes they serve. We believe that creating a unified visual language will be a critical starting point, and that digital tools could help people to follow up and learn more.

Expert groups came together in cities around the world in co-design sessions to collaborate and prototype an initial set of open standards for digital transparency in the public realm. These standards, as well as all the workshop activities and materials that generated them, are publicly and freely available for others to adopt, use, and build upon.

We’re looking for partners who want to advance the use and adoption of these standards in the public realm. Please get in touch at dtpr-hello@sidewalklabs.com.

Illustration of the DTPR development process

The DTPR Design Patterns and Prototypes - V1

There are four major components to DTPR - icons, a signage system, and a digital channel for communication - which together, help visualize and convey a taxonomy of key concepts.

Icons

You can download the icon files and visual system from Github.

Design Guide

The design guide has what you need to know in order to actually create signs using the icons or add the icons to existing signage.

Taxonomy

The taxonomy is the full set of definitions on which the icons are based. These definitions are also used in the prototype of the digital channel. The initial draft of the taxonomy and the associated icons are managed in an Airtable, which you can see here, and in the tables below.

Prototype for the Digital Channel

When you scan a QR code on a sign, it brings you to a webpage where you get more information. You can see our prototype for the digital channel - it’s currently set up for 307, Sidewalk Labs’ Toronto office and experimental workspace. Here’s the source code.

Co-Design Kit

In the course of developing the initial prototypes, we developed materials and a facilitation guide that was used to run our co-design sessions. All the materials are provided here so that anyone, anywhere, can take up these tools and use them to engage in this crucial topic.

Contributors

The development of these design patterns and prototypes would not have been possible without the large number of contributors who invested their expertise and time in this project. They are listed here.

License

The Icons, Design Guide and Taxonomy for DTPR are licensed by the Digital Transparency in the Public Realm contributors under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).
Portions of the DTPR Icons incorporate elements of, or are derived from, the Material icons. The Material icons are available under the Apache License 2.0.
The source code for the Digital Channel Prototype is licensed under Apache License 2.0.
Sidewalk Labs trademarks and other brand features within these works are not included in this license.

Full Taxonomy

Below you’ll find working defintions for the DTPR taxonomy along with accompanying icons.

Purpose

Icon Purpose Description
Encorcement Enforcement Used for enforcement of rules or regulations. Find out more here
Energy Efficiency Reduces energy use and/or helps conserve energy. Find out more about energy efficiency and energy conservation
Mobility Supports how people and materials move around. Find out more here
Inform Supports the provision of information, for example about a location, a service, or to provide assistance
Planning & Decision-making Supports the development of future plans; or to enable or measure the impact of a decision. Examples include urban planning
Safety & Security Enables a safe and/or secure environment, for example for the purposes of fire safety, home security or ensuring safe passage in places such as airports or roads
Accessibility Ensures that everyone has equal access to a space or a service. Find out more about accessibility and universal design
Ecology Supports the measurement or monitoring of the natural environment. Find out more about the natural environment, ecology and environmental science
Waste Management Supports the handling and disposal of waste, including as recyclables, compost and [hazardous materials] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hazardous_waste}. Find out more about waste management
Water Efficiency Reduces water use and/or helps conserve water. Find out more about water efficiency and conservation, and green infrastructure.
Fire & Emergency Supports services that ensure public safety and health related to emergencies. Find out more about emergency services.
Health Supports the measurement or monitoring of the aspects of the physical environment that impacts human health, such as radiation or air quality, or in specific contexts such as the workplace. Find out more about environmental monitoring and occupational health and safety
Agency & Interaction Enables you to control or interact with aspects of a space or a technology. Find out more about interactive media and virtual reality
Switch Supports a mechanical function - such as turning a device on or off, opening or closing, or adjusting brightness and intensity.
Research & Development Supports exploratory research and testing. Find out more here
Entry Supports authentication or validation in order to access a space or a service. Find out more here
Arts & Culture Enables artistic and/or cultural expression. Find out more here
Connectivity Enables connectivity of devices to a digital network. Find out more here
Logistics Supports the movements of goods or materials. Find out more here

Technology

Icon Technology Description
Video camera Collects video footage. Find out more here.
Video camera - infrared Collects video footage in the infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Still camera Collects still images. Find out more about cameras here
Still camera - infrared Collects still images in the infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Assistance Station Provides access to assistive services. Examples include assistive technologies and virtual assistants
Microphone A device that collects audio. Find out more here
Passive Infrared Sensor An electronic sensor that measures infrared (IR) light radiating from objects in its field of view. Find out more here
Soil Moisture Sensor Soil moisture sensors measures the water content in soil. Find out more here
Water Quality Measures various aspects of water quality, such as the amount of dissolved oxygen in water, pH, nitrates and dissolved oxygen. Find out more here
Sound Level Meter Takes acoustic measurements, most typically for measuring noise pollution. Find out more here
Radar Uses radio waves to detect objects, or measure how they are moving through a space, such as vehicles. Find out more here
LiDAR Uses lasers to measure distances to objects, collecting data that can create a 3-D representation of the object. Find out more here
Air Quality Measures various aspects of air quality, such as pollen, particulate matter, ozone, and greenhouse gases. Find out more here
Weather Station A set of instruments for measuring atmospheric conditions such as temperature, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and barometric pressure. Find out more here
Wireless Access Point Provides wireless access to a wired computer network, or to the internet. Find out more here
RFID Enables the identification of items using electromagnetic fields, commonly used to track inventory in stores, but not for identifying individual items. Find out more here
NFC A wireless communication protocol for electronic devices that are within a short distance of each other, typically used in ticketing or payment systems. No identifying data is collected in this case. Find out more here
Weighing Scale A weighing scale is a device to measure weight or mass. No identifying data is collected in this case. Find out more here
Thermometer Measures the temperature of or changes of temperature in the physical environment, and quantifies those attributes according to a standardized scale such as Celsius or Fahrenheit. Find more more here
Identifiable NFC A wireless communication protocol for electronic devices that are within a short distance of each other, typically used in ticketing or payment systems. In this case, unique identification is possible, for example if a particular item is closely associated with an individual’s personal data. Find out more here
Identifiable RFID Enables the identification of items using electromagnetic fields, commonly used to track inventory in stores. In this case, unique identification is possible, for example if a particular item is closely associated with an individual’s personal data. Find out more here
Identifiable Video Collects video footage of a sufficient resolution where individuals can be identified, for example by capturing images of faces or unique numbers such as vehicle license plates. Identifying information can be collected either through manual review by a person, or through computer vision techniques that derives information in the form of data from video or images.
Identifiable Voice Audio data is collected that does or can identify individuals, either through manual review or by technologies that can determine either what is being said, or who is saying it. Find out more about speech recognition or speaker recognition.
Identifiable Image Collects still images of a sufficient resolution where individuals can be identified, for example by capturing images of faces or unique numbers such as vehicle license plates. Identifying information can be collected either through manual review of images by a person, or through computer vision techniques that derives information in the form of data from images.
De-identified Video Collects video footage of a sufficient resolution where individuals can be identified, for example by capturing images of faces or unique numbers such as vehicle license plates. However, the video is processed in a way that removes identifying characteristics before it is used or stored (known as de-identified before first use or de-identified on device), for example by blurring faces using computer vision. Find out more about de-identification
De-identified Image Collects still images of a sufficient resolution where individuals can be identified, for example by capturing images of faces or unique numbers such as vehicle license plates. However, images are processed in a way that removes identifying characteristics before it is used or stored (known as de-identified before first use or de-identified on device), for example by blurring faces using computer vision. Find out more about de-identification
De-identified Voice Audio data is collected that does or can identify individuals, either through manual review or technologies that can determine either what is being said, or who is saying it. Find out more about speech recognition or speaker recognition. Data is processed in a way that removes identifying characteristics before it is used or stored (known as de-identified before first use or de-identified on device). Find out more here

Data Type

Icon Technology Description
Values / Time Measurements that are collected at regular intervals over a period of time. For example see [time series data] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_series).
Pixel-based Image A digital image is composed of a grid of individual pixels. Find out more at [digital image] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_image)
Boolean Data that has one of two data values, for example true and false. Find out more [here] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boolean_data_type)
Tabular Data that is stored in a table, where values are stored in rows and columns. More [here] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Table_(information))
Spatial Data that represents a location, such as an address, a place name or geographic coordinates; or a structure, such as a floorplan. Find out more about [geospatial data] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geographic_data_and_information) and [building information models] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Building_information_modeling)
Binary Compressed data into a binary format. Find out more [here] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_file)

Data Process

Icon Technology Description
RDUA Approved Data activity has undergone a Responsible Data Use Assessment and determined to provide a net benefit. The RDUA is a process that Sidewalk Labs conducts prior to the start of any data activity.
Reviewed Internally “Many organizations have internal review processes that consider the potential benefits, risks and implications for privacy for new technologies or data collection activities. For example, in Canada, Privacy Impact Assessments are often conducted by organizations prior to the beginning for a project - find out more [here] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Privacy_Impact_Assessment). This could be customized with the details of the accountable entity responsible for these instances of technology in the public realm
Encrypted Data has been encoded so that only authorized parties can access it, which can reduce risk related to handling private or sensitive information. Find out more [here] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encryption)
Aggregated “Data that has been grouped or summarized from individual measurements, for example to count up totals or to calculate an average. Find out more [here] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aggregate_data)
Raw data “Data that has not been processed or altered from the point of collection - the data is effectively identical to how it was gathered from the original data source. Find out more [here] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raw_data)
Regulated Depending on the jurisdiction and type of data, data is regulated in various ways. For example, Personal Information in Canada is regulated by federal, provincial, and municipal laws. The collection, use and disclosure of Personal Information by private companies in Ontario is regulated by the [Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act] (https://www.priv.gc.ca/en/privacy-topics/privacy-laws-in-canada/the-personal-information-protection-and-electronic-documents-act-pipeda/) This should be customized for the jurisdiction where this digital channel is being used
AI System Data that is processed by automated, algorithmic or artificial intelligence systems to derive a new result or data point. Find out more about [automated] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automated_decision_support), [algorithmic] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algorithm) and [artificial intelligence] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_intelligence) systems.
De-identified Data that is processed to remove identifying values, usually to protect privacy. De-identification can happen at any point in a data collection process, for example before it is stored in a database, or before it is published. Here we define it to mean after the data has already left a hardware device, or after it has been stored in a database. Find out more [here] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De-identification)

Data Access

Icon Technology Description
Available to download Data that can be accessed and downloaded online, either for free or for a fee
Available to 3rd parties Data is available to 3rd parties not involved in the data activity. This does not always mean that data is being resold.
Available to me Available to me but not to other individuals. For example, as an individual you have access to all your electronic toll records for your car, but other individuals do not have access to that.
Not available to me Not available to me or other individuals. As an individual, there isn’t a way for you to access this data.
Available for resale The data collected may be resold to other 3rd parties
Not available to the accountable organization Data is not available to the accountable organization this can be customized
Not available to vendor Data is not available to the data collection or technology provider this can be customized
Available to the accountable organization Data is available to the accountable organization this can be customized
Available to vendor Data is available to the data collection or technology provider this can be customized

Data Storage

Icon Technology Description
Stored on 3rd Party Cloud storage/cloud Data is stored on behalf of the organization or the data collector in an off-site data centre, such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure
No data retained No data is kept or stored
Retained 24 hours Data is stored for 24 hours, and after this time period is deleted
Retained 1 month Data is stored for 1 month, and after this time period is deleted
Retained 3 months Data is stored for 3 months, and after this time period is deleted
Retained for time period Data is stored for a customized time period, and after this time period is deleted
Retained 1 year Data is stored for 1 year, and after this time period is deleted
Retained 5 years Data is stored for 5 years, and after this time period is deleted
Retained indefinitely Data is retained indefinitely
Stored locally Data is stored in the jurisdiction where it was collected. Find out more [here] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_sovereignty)
Stored primarily locally Data is stored mainly in the jurisdiction where it was collected. Find out more [here] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_sovereignty)
Stored primarily internationally Data is stored outside the jurisdiction where it was collected. Find out more [here] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_sovereignty)
Backed up locally Data is backed up with the jurisdiction where it was collected. Find out more [here] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_sovereignty)
Backed up internationally Data is backed up outside the jurisdiction where it was collected. Find out more [here] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_sovereignty)