Data integration is a key item for Urban Intelligence. Cities are spaces for the interaction of distinct technological solutions, multiple sources of information and multidisciplinary data. Urban environments host applications from numerous stakeholders, from legacy systems to advanced computational technologies, which has been producing complex operating workspaces and data silos.

In the Smart Cities scenario, the possibility of cross-referencing real-time data from many different public services, sensors and all kind of data generated in the city is of utmost importance for increasing government operational efficiency, enhancing data quality for decision-making and improving services for citizens. In addition, in order to enhance the process of technological co-creation with research institutes, universities and startups, cities need to build mechanisms to gather and share valuable information of the urban environment in a simple, standardized and dynamic way.

In this context, the concept of Urban Smart Data Lakes gains strength and visibility. Data Lakes are centralized repositories that allow institutions to store all their structured and unstructured data at any scale. The data lake is usually a single repository of stored enterprise data, including raw copies of source system data and transformed data used for tasks such as reporting, visualization, and analytics. The data lake can include structured data from relational databases (rows and columns), semi-structured data (CSV, logs, XML, JSON), unstructured data (emails, documents, PDFs), binary data (images, audio, video) and data from social media sites. They also give you the ability to understand what data is in the lake through crawling, cataloging, and indexing of data. Finally, data should be secured to ensure your data assets are protected.

Smart Data Lakes are considered the evolution of this concept, increasing the potential of Smart Cities solutions from the integration of modern technologies directed to the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Computer Vision, among others.

Smart Data Lakes allow the structuring of multidisciplinary and multi-stakeholder environments. They enable the integration of data silos and the collaboration of the various players of the city around a centralized and dynamic repository, consolidating heterogeneous data sources from real-time data to historical and analytical data. These environments empower the generation of smarter services towards true Urban Intelligence.

We4City Platform Presented in a Brazilian Roadshow

We4City is a powered by FIWARE platform developed by VM9, a Gold Member of the FIWARE Foundation. It is based on open standards and artificial intelligence, which provides integrated support for the Internet of Things (IoT), Real-Time Cameras, Geographic Information Systems, Virtual Assistants, Big Data and Open Data, among others. From the Smart Data Lakes concept and supported by FIWARE Technologies, the solution allows cities to integrate data silos and produce the most important fuel for Smart Cities: Urban Intelligence.

All this means more practicality and dynamism for society and more efficiency for public institutions.


VM9 has just promoted a 3-month roadshow in Brazil, talking about Smart Data Lakes, FIWARE Technologies and the We4City platform in more than 50 cities in the states of Ceará, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santo and São Paulo, such as: Fortaleza, Juazeiro do Norte, Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, Contagem, Resende, Barra do Piraí, Volta Redonda, Nova Friburgo, Taubaté, Monteiro Lobato, São José dos Campos, Lorena, Ubatuba, Vitória, Vila Velha, Linhares, Colatina, among others. Several cities have shown immediate interest in the proposals and projects are being formatted.

FIWARE and We4City at the Rio de Janeiro Operations Center (COR)

The Rio de Janeiro Operations Center (COR) is a public facility in the city of Rio de Janeiro, which is considered the headquarters of the city’s operational teams, with approximately 30 public agencies, including municipal and state secretariats, and concessionaires of public services. The Operations Center is responsible for monitoring and optimizing the functioning of the city on a daily basis, foreseeing and managing, for example, urban mobility, meteorological conditions, landslides, floods, accidents, major events, among other situations.

In order to improve the city’s responses to heavy rain events and floods, Rio Operations Center launched the I COR Challenge – Smart City Pitch. Within this context, the We4City platform is being used to structure a Smart Data Lake that integrates real-time and historical information from numerous institutions and systems, such as: INEA, CEMADEN, Alerta Rio, Web Sirenes, 1746, Civil Defense, INMET, Real-time cameras, Comlurb, Weather Radars, City Hall of Rio, among others.

Orion Context Broker integrates the Smart Data Lake and it is responsible for managing IoT’s demands for real-time networks design and implementation. On top of the platform, the city of Rio will launch a new service for citizens: It is an IoT based application of collaboration and georeferenced audio-visual communication, joined with a virtual assistant in natural language. The purpose of this project is to enable the Operations Center to communicate with citizens through an App in audio-visual format by sending alerts and on-demand guidelines, in real-time and geographically accurate for reaching the right target audience in any place of the city, empowering citizens to tackle adverse events.

Guest Post by Marcos Marconi (Co-Founder & CEO, VM9)