One of the new sources of data that will benefit from the aggregation and storage power of Hadoop is the world of Internet of Things. Cities are deploying sensors, setting up wireless networks and supporting wearables which all add up to an enormous amount of data. The rationale for IOT in cities is spreading to every type of service provided to citizens, from traffic to energy to health. All of this is generating huge volumes of data, data which is in bite sizes but very frequent, as well as creating complication in deployment and control. Cities have banded together with Open Source partners to tackle some of these issues with products such as Sentilo. This multi faceted system allows cities to manage, monitor and analyze their sensors centrally, as well as enabling the storage of that data in, you guessed it, Hadoop, for deep analysis.
Of course all these Open Source systems have to run somewhere and be run by someone. As mentioned Cloud hosting is a strong ally as it provides the ability to quickly and cheaply host Open Source and other systems, while reducing the need for manpower to manage them. The next step of Software as a Service is even more useful to cities as all the set up, configuration and management of the system is done by the cloud provider. For example, multiple Hadoop based Data as a Service solutions have sprung up, where cities pay low monthly fees for storing large amounts of data. The fees are all the more economic because the software itself is free. Nor are Open Source systems being used exclusively on their own. Many commercial solution include Hadoop, CKAN is taking data from traditional databases and Sentilo works with commercial sensors.
So while Open Source is not without cost, it has been a method for cities to control budgets while providing new services and develop the local economy.