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Rio de Janeiro’s Center of Operations (COR) sets the stage for a smarter city with Google Maps


(Pass-posted on Google Brasil Blog)

Editor’s note: Our guest blogger today is Pedro Junqueira, CEO and COO at the Center of Operations (COR) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Established in 2010, COR monitors the daily activity of the city and potential crisis situations including traffic, major events and natural disasters. COR integrates the activities of 30 organizations. Today, 400 professionals work at COR in 3 shifts. See what other public institutions that have gone Google have to say.

Home to more than six million inhabitants, Rio de Janeiro is a vibrant city set in a tropical climate along the coast of Brazil. Rio is known for hosting large festivals and international events that attract hundreds of thousands of people, like the 2013 Confederations Cup, the recent Papal visit, and the beloved Carnaval. We’re currently planning for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games.

At the city’s Center of Operations (COR), it’s our job to keep the city running efficiently throughout the year, whether it’s during a major festival, when traffic is at peak levels, or during the summer rain, when flooding can create emergency situations. It’s no easy feat, but thanks to collaboration and teamwork, we’re able to get in front of potential crises and respond to emergencies when they do occur.

Technology plays a pivotal role in helping us do our job. We use Google Maps for Business to build and share geospatial data with partners that allows us to have a common operating picture and detect potential problems. We can act before they turn into real emergency situations. Each summer, for example, Rio is deluged by summer rains, leaving homes and streets flooded, inaccessible and damaged. With Google Maps for Business and a team that monitors meteorological conditions each day, we’re able to keep a close watch on flood-prone areas with dense populations. And when rain reaches a critical level, the team warns local officials to prepare for possible evacuation operations.
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All the information needed to assess risks and take action is shared on one Google Map, enabling the various teams from the Municipal Guard, Civil Defense, Mayor’s office and others to easily coordinate and respond. We can even use Google Maps for Business to study preventative measures and minimize the impact of events that could affect the operational routine of the city. It’s all on a single map that combines data from a range of different agencies and sources.

Tracking the real-time state of the city and responding to emergencies immediately couldn’t be done without reliable technology like Google’s mapping solutions. Google Maps for Business integrates with our internal systems, and employees already rely on these tools in their personal lives, so using them for work comes naturally. Google helps COR make faster, better more informed decisions every day. It’s good for us, and it’s good for the people of Rio de Janeiro.