Amsterdam Tourism pilot


In Amsterdam, we are currently working to enable smarter information services for tourists by implementing CitySDK. We are also looking at the possibilities of dynamic data services that might, while not yet available, greatly impact the opportunities regarding smarter information services.

This means that we look further than the ‘standard’ data, such as information about the pricing or opening times of touristic places. We want to combine the static data sources, that only update once a day or week, with dynamic data sources that update every couple of minutes and show what is going on in the city at that exact moment.

In Amsterdam, more than 4 million tourists visit the city each year. Especially during the holiday season this results in very long waiting time at the tourist hotspots. During peak times, tourists would sometimes have to wait for hours to get into a popular museum, while going to the museum a few hours later would results in a far shorter waiting time.


Photo: Small part of the Van Gogh Museum queue.

Together with the Van Gogh Museum, which is one of the busiest museums in Amsterdam, we will collaborate to see how we can make the information on the current waiting-time at the Van Gogh available and give the tourist alternatives till the waiting-time drops during the day.

We have investigated various possibilities to accurately measure the queue length and ultimately decided using sensor technology would be the best way. We decided to use a array of sonar sensors to determine the length of the queue (see examples of sensors below). From the data we retrieve from these sensors, we will calculate the queue waiting-time and add this to the CitySDK API. This will enable any developer to access the data and combine the data with other available CitySDK data to develop smart innovative services for tourists.



Besides queue length, we are still looking at other possible dynamic data sources to add to the CitySDK. You could think of data such as air quality in various locations in the city. If you know any of these datasets, or are planning to enable these services please feel free to contact us.



Maarten Groen

Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

[email protected]



Wouter  Wouter Meys

Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

[email protected]

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