Compara | Encounters in Theory and History of Education


Marcus Gordon, OCAD University
Sara Diamond, OCAD University
Minsheng Zheng, OCAD University
Michael Carnevale, OCAD University

The OCAD University Visual Analytics Laboratory (VAL) has developed a taxonomy of end users, software systems, data types, tasks and interactivity within the domain of smart city transportation planning. This paper contributes to the taxonomy by creating Compara, an intuitive, interactive and searchable index that visualizes the attributes of software from a wide-range of applications and technologies. The taxonomy began as a spreadsheet that we transformed into a custom interactive data visualization that could help users find and understand existing tools and their attributes.

The taxonomy and interactive index are a component of the iCity project which brings together academic, government, and industrial partners in order to improve the quality of life for urban residents and visitors through the development and integration of advanced IT infrastructure for the purpose of managing transit and transportation. The taxonomy and resulting tools discussed in this paper have expanded to include resources for urban planning which also impact transit and transportation.

One of the primary uses of the taxonomy is to help various iCity project teams and stakeholders locate software that may be useful to their design and development process, as well as to understand the end-users of this technology. The taxonomy may be used to develop a city management dashboard for city planners and analysts, or equally, to design a city-services facing mobile service application.