Montevideo Smart Cities Meeting: Innovation True Stories

 Big Data, Conference, SmartCities  Comments Off on Montevideo Smart Cities Meeting: Innovation True Stories
Jul 252017

On August 2nd and 3rd, the Montevideo Smart Cities Meeting will take place in the Conference Center of the Montevideo Municipality, with the participation of international, regional, national and departmental authorities; entrepreneurs; representatives of universities and students; and citizens as well.

These Smart Cities meetings began in 2015, with a first one focused on listening to proposals on the topic of smart cities. The second edition was held in 2016 next to the 6th ITU Green Standards Week, so the event took on an international character. Montevideo hosted various experts on innovation, sustainable development and technology applications.

This year the conferences are coordinated and organised by the Department of Sustainable and Intelligent Development under the tagline “Innovation True Stories”, in order to exchange experiences and knowledge, creating spaces for reflection, and inform the citizens about what a smart, sustainable and inclusive city consists of.

FIWARE will participate within this Smart Cities framework, with the talk “Environmental Observatory Project” on day one; and the “Big Data, Science of Data and New Bounds with Citizenry” panel, on day two.

The Montevideo Municipality is implementing a powered by FIWARE platform, as the basis for its Smart City platform, collecting and managing the use of the city data through the Orion Context Broker, adapting the NGSI FIWARE API as the standard to accede the information in right real-time.

This project is already running, assigned –via public tender– to a consortium of local companies. It includes the infrastructure of the servers and software components of the platform, with apps to manage urban mobility and a series of pilot projects using sensors to control the environmental quality, the city water supply and sanitation.

The afore mentioned infrastructure will be serving as the foundation for a City Government Platform (Plataforma de Gobernanza de la Ciudad – PGC), also based on FIWARE. A two-year project that has just started. It will include systems to monitor and control the public transportation, systems to control the freight transport, the control of the waste-recollection vehicles; monitor the sanitation infrastructure and give early alerts about floods, a system for sound mapping, solar radiation, air quality, etc.

The 3rd Smart Cities Meeting, however, will not be only about Smart Cities, other topics linked to the application of technologies in management issues will be considered. Parallel to the conferences, exchange activities will be developed: workshop for kids (they would imagine the Montevideo of the future); a citizen-oriented Lab around the app ‘Cómo ir’, as an open workshop to contribute with fresh ideas for the new version of the app; and a Women's Desk, where they will work on smart technologies and cities, from an equity and gender perspective.

How to participate? The access is free. There is a registration form available here. If you have any suggestions, the organisation will be glad receiving them. Please write to!

Do not forget to download the agenda and check which panels will you be attending. Follow the conversation on Facebook and Twitter to stay informed and share your voice.  

FIWARE at the Big Data & Entrepreneurship Day in Alicante

 Big Data, Conference, events  Comments Off on FIWARE at the Big Data & Entrepreneurship Day in Alicante
Jul 172017

Next July 20th, FIWARE will be present at the Big Data & Entrepreneurship Day, organised by the Telefónica Chair at the University of Alicante (Spain).

The Chair at the University is focused on studying and promoting the use and applications based on Big Data. On this one day event, the aim will be to open a discussion forum around a subject in which the University and the province of Alicante are starting to become national and international models.

The event will take place at the Assembly Hall, on the Building IV of the Higher Polytechnic School –Salón de Actos, Edificio IV, Escuela Politécnica Superior– of the University of Alicante.

The schedule of Big Data & Entrepreneurship Day offers a series of presentations around Big Data as the engine for starting entrepreneurial projects and making them scale-up. Experts from the University, from Telefónica and from other related projects will be pointing out the increasing value of the Data as a resource for companies and startups, looking forward the development of value-added, new products and services.
After presenting living pilots and commercial projects, applications and testimonies on the matter, an open round table will be the perfect chance to jointly reach conclusions and stablish common frameworks and roadmaps.

After presenting ODINE (European Open Data Incubator) project and share the latest advancements on image-recognition, FIWARE will be on the spotlight, showing how it is being used to manage and profit from Big Data on several entrepreneurial projects. The speaker and ambassador for FIWARE will be Antonio Jara from HOPU.

HOP Ubiquitous is specialized in IoT connectivity, IoT management and provisioning of consulting services to enable IoT-based solutions to our customers and partners. “Smart solutions designed for people” powered by FIWARE, and FIWARE-ready devices. Including a wide range of IoT products: Nodes (HOP own Chipsets), Edge Intelligence Hubs, Management Platforms and the provision of Integral Consultancy services. HOPU enables Smart devices with Internet of Things capabilities based in Internet connectivity and RESTFul Open APIs.

The last speak of the event will be about the smart-management of public water supplies, using Big Data – another subject where powered by FIWARE companies have been extensively working on.

To follow the process and get the main insights of the event, remember to follow @CatedraTEF_UA and FIWARE on Twitter. Share your thoughts using #EmprenderBigData.


 APIs, Big Data, Blog, Developers, IoT, NGSI  Comments Off on Towards
Sep 022016
Cyber space with hexadecimal code as digital background

In previous blog posts the benefits of NGSI version 2 have been described, as a harmonized API for IoT Big Data ecosystems and particularly for exposing real time context information. Harmonized APIs are a necessary but not sufficient condition to foster developer-friendly IoT Big Data Ecosystems, which enable building smart applications.
If data models are not harmonized, developers, in practice, get forced to change their application when porting it to another context (E.g. a different city).

Harmonizing data models means creating a shared vocabulary of terms and relationships that provide uniformity on the representation of different concepts: parking, public transport, weather… Harmonized APIs and data models, together, will enable the creation of smart applications that are portable at data level.

The FIWARE community has started an agile, implementation-driven process, to devise harmonized data models. Focusing initially on the smart city domain, the work is evolving on a daily basis and it is being registered on the documentation hosted in the related Github repository. Such documentation is currently written in markdown format and published to a readthedocs site.
There is also a landing page /data-models (to be redirected from, as per recommendations) which provides fast and convenient access to the different data models.
Such data models are published under the Creative Commons by Attribution License.

The design principles behind the FIWARE data models promote reuse, thus existing vocabularies, especially, have been adopted and leveraged. Other design principles are flexibility and simplicity, enabling a phased adoption by data providers and applications.

A first, draft version of the following models has already been provided:

  • Parking. They allow to model on street and off street parking areas. The data models reuse parts of the vocabulary defined by DATEX II

  • Waste Management. It is intended to model all the assets intervening on (municipal) waste management (containers, isles, etc.)

  • Streetlighting. They model urban streetlights and certain aspects of their controlling equipment

  • Civic Issue Tracking, leveraging the popular Open311 de facto standard to meet NGSIv2

  • Key Performance Indicators, to model performance measurements appropriately

  • Water Quality. Captures different observed measurements (ph, conductivity, etc.) about the quality of water in rivers and lakes, or water intended to human consumption

Other data models to be developed and documented are Weather, Environment, Alarms, Devices or Parks & Gardens. Contributions, in the form of Github pull requests, are encouraged.

It is noteworthy that, at the time of writing, different FIWARE community members and telco operators worldwide (with GSMA support) are starting to experiment in real applications with the referred data models. As a result, valuable feedback can be obtained in order to refine them. The final aim is to contribute these data models to standards organizations, industry associations (particularly GSMA) or global community-driven efforts (

José Manuel Cantera – Technological Expert. FIWARE Team

Architecting the City Platform To Create the Data Economy

 APIs, Big Data, Blog, Open Data, SmartCities, TM Forum  Comments Off on Architecting the City Platform To Create the Data Economy
Aug 122016
blurred aerial image of New york city. concept about traveling and urban life

Anticipating the publication of the next My FIWARE Story, around the collaborative framework between TM Forum and FIWARE, it is time to recall the Live! event that took place in Nice, France, a few months ago.
TM Forum Live! showcased activities from cities around the world, all making use of smart technologies to enable new collaborations between citizens, local businesses, enterprise, and the city authority.

Berlin is creating the new housing development Future Living, which has been made possible in part due to the availability of detailed data on housing needs, buildings and plots of land and aims to create a living lab environment that leverages data to improve residential quality of life. The UK’s city of Bristol is modelling traffic flows and installing air quality sensors to reduce pollution risks. China’s Yinchuan city uses sensors in garbage collection units to better optimize waste disposal services. The U.S. City of Atlanta is addressing crime risks at a key intersection in the city, and as initiatives prove successful, are expanding the reach to streets and whole districts.

FIWARE Chief Architect, Juanjo Hierro says these sorts of activities show that “the vision of the smart cities is evolving.” Hierro says that as smart city projects move beyond pilot stage, the notion of smart cities has matured. “So far, the idea of smart cities has been focused on more efficient management of city-provided services. But smart cities have to be something more. They have to be the main enabler for economic development.”

Hierro says the way to do this is “to exploit the value of data that describes what is going on in the city”.

What is needed is an economy of data that facilitates industry growth by fostering new partnerships and creating value sharing models so that actors in this new economy are viable and sustainable.

“This is the fuel of innovation, and the gold mine that the cities need to offer to application developers. But to do that, we need to provide data in a standardized way, all the cities have to use the same mechanisms, the same APIs, the same information models,” encourages Hierro. “This will enable a digital single market, where an entrepreneur can develop one application and replicate that in multiple cities.”

Maturity Levels in the Data Economy

Hierro describes three levels of maturity when cities begin to enable a data economy.

  1. First, cities publish an open data platform
  2. Second, cities start to use those platforms to expose realtime data
  3. Finally, cities offer a way for third parties to enrich city-supplied data and to enable monetization.

1. Cities Publish Open Data

“Most of the cities today are in the process of publishing their open data, but this is static, historic data and there are not too many things you can do with it,” says Hierro.

TMForumLiveLogoSQUARE_2016 (1)

2. Cities Expose Realtime Data

“Thanks to initiatives like OASC and using FIWARE, cities are evolving to the next level of maturity and starting to expose real-time open data.”

Hierro points to the use of FIWARE’s NGSI API that makes this possible. He says that FIWARE has contributed an extension to the open source, open data platform CKAN to enable the data platform (used in over 150 locations around the world and a core open data publishing tool for use amongst OASC member cities). “Our CKAN extension lets cities register data resources that are dynamic,” he says. Realtime data that is drawn from sensors and other sources are accessible as datasets on a city’s CKAN open data platform through the NGSI API.

3. Cities Encourage Third-Party Participation and Monetization

“After that, there will be a third maturity level in which the city not just exploits real-time data but also offers an infrastructure for third parties to enrich the data that the cities are providing and that enables the monetization of data by third parties,” says Hierro.

A second extension contributed by FIWARE to CKAN enables “access rights acquisition” within the data publishing platform.

“Data sources that are published to a city’s CKAN platform can have an access right process connected with it. So some data published on the city’s platform will be free (that is, the traditional usage of CKAN).” Hierro says the possibility of adding access rights means that where open data is provided via API, better access permissions will reduce risks of pulling data from a city in insecure ways that can cause Denial of Service risks. Sometimes, malicious bots target open data APIs and keep asking for data over and over until the sheer volume of requests causes infrastructure problems to the whole city platform. In other cases, developers can make mistakes in how they are trying to request the data to cause similar problems. By having access rights processes in place, a city can open up data via API while also monitoring usage to prevent these risks.

Hierro says access rights processes would also enable city’s to embark on a data economy journey. On the same platform as the city realtime, data, cities could host data from third parties and enable access rights processes to enable those third parties to monetize on the platform. “This would also allow for users to pay or subscribe for a fee to some data sources that would be accessible through the API. That is the way to monetize. Third parties would be able then to access the city’s data catalog to offer some of their data resources so they become published in the same CKAN platform that the city provides.”

FIWARE is working with its partners including CKAN, OASC, and TM Forum to create this infrastructure that will serve the emerging economy of data. “The NGSI API is the way the city will be able to exchange data in real-time, provided by the city and by third parties. The data publication platform will have all the necessary extensions to offer NGSI-based data and also to allow billing with access rights management. And the TM Forum APIs allow for those cases where you are paying or subscribing to get access to a particular data source, and to be able to monetize and run revenue-sharing mechanisms.”

The City as Platform in the Data Economy

To grow through each of these stages of maturity will require a city to think through a platform model. A platform model leverages the infrastructure described above to enable producers and consumers to come together, find what they need, and transact with each other.

It is a new mindset that cities will need to grapple with. For many city departments in the past, they have usually seen their role as providing services for their citizens, visitors, and for local industry. A platform model is changing that worldview.

Cities still have a role to play in providing services, but are doing so in partnership with a wider range of stakeholders. Cities are also needing to enable citizens, visitors and local industry to create their own value by being able to combine the city services and assets they need themselves. For example, citizens are increasingly demanding information about the local transport services as well as realtime parking data, safe walking route information, and ride-hire services. Whereas before a city might see its responsibility as running the local bus service, now its responsibility is to make sure citizens are able to plan and map a multimodal transport journey in the way that they want: to get somewhere by a specific time, to reduce their reliance on a car, or to help them increase their physical activity. Citizens are demanding that cities make the data available so that they can compose their own solutions.

As a city grows in its data economy maturity, its platform model would also grow more sophisticated to enable a greater range of actors to participate.

Captura de pantalla 2016-06-06 a las 11.44.52

“The vision is of enabling multisite markets where different actors can play a role,” says Hierro.

The most basic platform model matches the first stage of maturity: the city publishes open data and third party application providers might be able to create an app using some of this data and sell the application in an app store. For example, an application for local citizens might use city data to map points of interest or community services. Local businesses might use this open data to improve the experience they offer to their customers. A local real estate agent might add a city’s open data about access to services, parkland, or civic complaints data to listings to show the amenity surrounding their sales properties.

As cities advance along the data economy maturity model, the data marketplace platform they provide grows more sophisticated as well. A city could even have an external platform provider manage the data marketplace. Revenue could be split amongst the platform provider, the city, citizens contributing their own crowd-sourcing data, businesses with their own sensors or unique datasets who make their data available for a fee on the platform. App providers might pay for use of datasets in their apps, or be a funnel so that end users pay a subscription fee whenever they access a data source via the app.

“The whole idea is to build the infrastructure that is needed to create multiple business models. You have to find out how to reach sustainability in each business model, but there will be many configurations,” says Hierro. “We can envision business models where there is a benefit for actors that are developing solutions that are aiming to scale across a wide range of cities, but also actors that are just operating locally in the city but are getting some benefit from using local data in their application to improve the local business they are carrying out. This is what would enable the transformation of the city into a platform for the development of services.”

Role of the City as a Data Economy Platform

In Platform Revolution, authors Geoffrey Parker, Marshall Van Alstyne and Sangeet Paul Choudary describe the way businesses around the globe are transforming into platform models. This transformation is also affecting cities, and the same principles apply. Parker, Van Alstyne and Choudary explain that a platform model enables the exchange of information, the exchange of goods or services, and the exchange of currency between consumers and producers.

A CKAN listing of what data is available in a city becomes the information that is exchanged. This data is the basic unit of value in the city platform model. Application builders are the consumers who are seeking to use the data in their applications, products and services. The city’s sensor network and open datasets, and the third party providers who make their own data available on the platform are the producers. The role of the city platform then is to connect consumers and producers by hosting the data, allowing app builders to find and use data from city and third party sources. User rights acquisition processes and revenue-sharing APIs enable these “consumers and producers” to buy and sell data, creating a whole new local economy of data.

As cities mature to this stage, they will need to enable application builders to quickly find the datasets that will be useful when they are building solutions. Cities that can help these app makers and businesses to consume the data hosted on their platform will be the ones that are successful in enabling new economic growth.

The infrastructure problem is being solved. FIWARE, OASC and TM Forum have built the components to make an economy of data possible. Now, cities must create the platform models that will encourage interaction, match application builders with data providers, and facilitate new economic opportunity.

“The whole vision is that of providing the tools, and then cities and solution providers will need to come with innovative services,” says Hierro. “We are essentially providing the tools that will enable all of this. Now, cities can encourage entrepreneurs to create innovative services and make use of data sources to enable this economy of data to emerge.”

Written by Mark Boyd, Writer and Analyst on smart cities, open data,
APIs and programmable business models at Platformable.

 Posted by at 12:44 pm

#myFIWAREstory – FINODEX, the Accelerator of Open Data

 Accelerator Programme, Big Data, events, myFIWAREstory, Open Data  Comments Off on #myFIWAREstory – FINODEX, the Accelerator of Open Data
Jul 072016

A few months ago, after coming back from the FIWARE Roadshow organized by FINODEX, we asked Miguel García if it was really possible to create new opportunities for entrepreneurs –within and outside Europe– and doing so upon a free material, as the Open Data is.

The success of FINODEX acceleration process illustrates that it is indeed quite likely to build a business around Open Data. Starting by having a disruptive idea and a passionate and versatile team, plus the support and expertise of mentors and tutors and the appropriate tools at hand, Open Data can be not only arise as the free raw material to use, but also as the mark that will distinguish a good project from the great, unique one that investors are always in the search of.

For Manuel Fandiño (Isetic), by incorporating it to the solutions that Isetic was developing, they reached a turning point for their company: “That was something not so clear on our business plan” –Fandiño explains. Although they already knew they were needing to offer their clients a specific type of data, the advent of the Open Data turned out to be decisive– “we have found a lot of new possibilities to improve our service, thanks to the implementation of external Open Data in it”.

“Open Data is a resource that is free for entrepreneurs and for everyone on Earth”. Miguel García makes it clear: “It can provide an innovation source for many companies”.
A source of change for good and for the better then. An open and innovative focus has proved to be the key to succeed in the ICT sector, particularly for SMEs and startups: “The successful ones are contracting people, creating new jobs and fostering the economy… so yes: we are changing people’s lives” –asserts Garcia.

But the value added that this kind of data can provide is not always on the surface, as Hendrick Luuk clarifies: “You really have to be creative to extract value from Open Data”. His company, Xpressomics was one of the top three from the accelerator first open call. “We drill down to the bottom and extract all the meaningful information that we can” –continues Luuk– “the data certainly has value, but if its lying in these data silos in a raw form, nobody is able to extract value from it”.

Angel Martínez, from Fruitwatcher, expand on how the data can be used: “We get Open Data sources, we get that data and match it with ours and we create value added services for free, we might say” –he then shares his vision of the forthcoming impact of the Open Data– “in the future it will be even greater. And the more sources of data there will be, the multiplied more services that will exist”.

FINODEX has now reached the last phase of its acceleration process. But that is not stopping them or slowing down their activity, not even a bit. Recently they been promoting the startups from their second call and, within the Demo Day in Trento, the best three “pitches” were chosen and prized. By the end of the summer the winners of the second call will be made public ending the process of acceleration which started in June 2014.

The International Open Data conference will be the last milestone of this open data accelerator. The next 4th of October FINODEX and its top startups will guide a pre-conference event in which final results of the acceleration will be shown together with the success stories from the accelerated companies. 

The support from FINODEX is continuous and has been going all the way, from the first business idea and the stages when each project starts working with Open Data, to the final moment when each solution and service is completed and ready to enter the market.

The moment is now: “Having a set of tools that are free to use and reuse… that gives a lot of value to the project” –Miguel García says. And such value is enriching not only the particular projects, but the complete community, the technologies and the trusted brand that FIWARE is becoming: “FIWARE is here to stay and Open Data is going to be an enabler to that” –concludes Garcia.

The complete #myFIWAREstory about Open Data and FINODEX is now ready to be shared.

This is our story, which is yours?

FIWARE and TM Forum at the Dawn of the Data Economy

 APIs, Big Data, Blog, Developers, events, NGSI, Open Data, SmartCities, TM Forum  Comments Off on FIWARE and TM Forum at the Dawn of the Data Economy
Apr 272016

How businesses operate is fundamentally changing. These changes were recently summed up by John Hagel on his blog Edge Perspectives. He talks about how customers increasingly want to pay for usage rather than as part of an upfront model. We are seeing this with the uptake of software-as-a-service (SaaS) businesses, streaming services, and with the growth of new disruptors like ride-share apps. For example, many people used to covet having a large CD or DVD collection, whereas now cultural and technological trends have converged to elevate music and video streaming services as a more desirable way to access our entertainment on-demand.

In the business sector, many companies are increasingly seeing what some commentators are calling “shadow IT”: the idea that individual business units are deciding themselves what apps and business software they will buy and use amongst their team rather than going through their IT department to approve their choices, and this is leading to a proliferation in the use of SaaS tools within the one enterprise.

In his blog, Hagel predicts that as we move further towards a pay-as-you-use economy, customers (whether at home or in business) will increasingly demand to pay not for usage, but for the value they receive from a product or service. Data analytics and digital end-to-end delivery of products and services is making this frontier imminent.

As part of this fundamental paradigm shift towards a usage model, Hagel says, businesses are also helping facilitate value creation by connecting their end-customers to partners and other vendors in their ecosystem and even connecting customers to other customers. This is turning many businesses into platforms.

In a digital economy, data becomes a key asset that businesses provide as a way to generate value. And where businesses do not have the exact data that is valuable to their customers, they use their platform base to connect customers to other platform partners who DO have that data.

Consumers and businesses then become more willing to pay for access to data if that data provides them with greater value: if they get premium access to high quality or exclusive content for example, or if the data is available in real-time in a way that can be used immediately. As life speeds up and more demands are placed on our time, we are increasingly willing to pay for access to the data that will give us an advantage or win back our time for us.

Businesses that are currently collecting and thinking through ways to make unique, realtime data available to their partners and customers are best positioned to thrive in this new digital economy. Success happens when business models are more focused on the ability to operate as a platform and enable value to be co-created amongst an ecosystem of customers, suppliers and partners.

And if data is the key asset, then APIs become the key tool that will help businesses create and share the value that data provides. As TM Forum’s Sarah Wray writes in Smart Cities: Enabling the Economy of Data, APIs “function somewhat like combinations of software lock-picks, innovation oil cans and digital glue.“

FIWARE’s partnership with TM Forum is a prime example of how data and APIs will drive this new economy. Our partnership will benefit cities, citizens and local businesses.

Let’s look at a couple of recent examples from FIWARE’s own ecosystem of partners, startups and end users. Based on the HERE maps platform, Telefónica and UPM have created a GPS-based map navigation app for the cities of Porto, Santander, Sevilla and Antwerp using FIWARE’s realtime NGSI API and drawing in data from a range of sources including parking sensors, traffic data, and air pollution. Customers can use the app to navigate to a new city location, avoid congested traffic areas, and even find a vacant parking space when they arrive. Experimentation and replication across a number of pilot cities has helped to identify a minimum data model that is necessary to make their application scalable to different cities and nations. Now they can build a viable business by offering that application in any city as they understand the minimum scalable data model needed to make it work, and they can use FIWARE’s generic enablers and NGSI API to rebuild the app quickly in any area.

FIWARE open de-facto standars are now in a position to enable an ecosystem of data providers to contribute and add value to applications like the GPS-based map navigation application based on the HERE maps platform. For example, business users may want access to realtime data on available vacant parking spaces near a conference event, whereas environmentally-focused travelers may be more interested in data that helps them to reduce their contribution to air pollution or that helps them locate electric power stations for their vehicles. Open datasets published by cities can be included in the app, or if there is a business that is already collecting that data, it could make a partnership arrangement with the city or a data marketplace provider partner of the city to include that data in the app. This way, if customers subscribe to the app, they could pay a premium for access to some of these sorts of specific datasets that help them get the value they want from a GPS app suited to their needs and lifestyle.

This is where FIWARE’s partnership with TM Forum now extends that idea to make new data and platform business models possible. The TM Forum-FIWARE Business Framework combining FIWARE and TM Forum Open APIs let application makers and platform providers including cities partner with third party data providers and split the revenue from usage payments according to the data usage of the end consumer. FIWARE and TM Forum are making the future digital economy that Hagel outlines, a reality now.

You could see how companies and particularly startups could move to a platform business model using a combination of:

  • the NGSI API to get access to context information

  • the data models agreed by domain stakeholders (e.g., cities regarding parking slots and other contextual information available in cities) and

  • the TM Forum Open APIs that provide capabilities like data product discovery and can automate revenue-sharing amongst partners.

FIWARE network startup Agricolus, for example, offers a range of precision agricultural services, including Oliwes, an early warning and pest management system for the olive industry. Their product has been bought by the Italian province of Umbria to assist all farmers in that region to better manage a pest that has decimated annual crops in previous years. Using the APIs from TM Forum and FIWARE, Agricolus can more quickly scale to other areas and build partnerships with other industry groups that may have local data on farming, weather impacts, or environmental quality measurements that could be valuable data additions to their Oliwes product in other regions. Startups like Agricolus can reach new markets faster by buying in new data supplies and using TM Forum revenue-sharing APIs so that data suppliers automatically receive a share of end consumer payments. Other business models — such as providing a reduced service fee or rebate to farmers who share their own data with Agricolus — suddenly become possible and build out the potential of a data economy faster.

The following infographic ilustrates the partnership between TM Forum and FIWARE. This relationship is stimulating the data economy and enhacing the development of cost efficient portable solutions that are interoperable across different platforms.


At the upcoming TM Forum Live in Nice, on May 9-12, many of these ideas will be explored in greater depth. Lets have a look at the event agenda to highlight the sessions involving FIWARE :


  • 11.55 AM – FIWARE and OASC – helping to make the Smart City happen. Juanjo Hierro (Coordinator & Chief Architect FIWARE – CTO Industrial IoT and Smart Cities Platform Product Unit Telefónica)

  • 04.55 PM – PANEL: APIs and Open Dataempowering businesses to create new smart city services

This workshop will be based on the foundation built by the FIWARE and the TM Forum teams. By combining the experience and knowledge from both actors, this partnership is unleashing innovation in Smart Cities. The workshop aims at discuss and underline the right choices that cities should be making to seize the opportunities that their digital transformation would bring.​

  • 8:50 AM – Welcome from the Chair – Carl Piva, VP Strategic Programs, TM Forum
  • 9:00 AM – Keynote What is the opportunity cities can seize by joining forces to drive urban innovation and an Economy of Data model?  Michael Mulquin, Director, IS Communications Ltd
  • 9:15 AM – Workshop #1Unleashing city innovation based on open data  Dr. Sumit D Chowdhury, Founder, Gaia Smart Cities – Creator of Smart City Masters Level Course, Carnegie Mellon University – Best Selling Author of 'Rules of the Game',
  • 11:15 AM – Workshop #2Business model ecosystem design driving an open city data platform  Juanjo Hierro, Coordinator & Chief Architect, FIWARE – CTO Industrial IoT and Smart Cities Platform Product Unit, Telefónica
  • 12:45 PM – Networking Lunch & Exhibition Visit
  • 2:00 PM – Workshop #3When the rubber hits the road: Making it happen  Peter Fatelnig, Deputy Head of Unit for 'Net Innovation', European Commission
  • 3:15 PM – Roadblocks to be overcome in unleashing smart city innovation  Susan Salkind, Fellow, CodeX – The Stanford Center for Legal Informatics, Stanford Law School
  • 3:25 PM – Chairman’s closing remarks  Carl Piva, VP Strategic Programs, TM Forum

You can still get your ticket for TM Forum Live directly.

Also, you can earn it by participating in the Open Hack around smart cities that will take place the weekend before the main event. It might be a great opportunity for startups and developers within the FIWARE ecosystem to boost the deployment of their present projects and apps and also to create new ones!


FIWARE: Enabling IoT – Big Data Ecosystems

 APIs, Big Data, Blog, Developers, Experimentation, IoT, NGSI, Open Data  Comments Off on FIWARE: Enabling IoT – Big Data Ecosystems
Apr 222016

IoT and Big Data are the new wave on the Future Internet. On one hand IoT is enabling the generation of large volumes of data from its mobile connected assets. On the other hand, using Big Data analysis, extra insights, that have not been possible in the past, are obtained.  The full potential of this data can be unlocked through the creation of an IoT Big Data Ecosystem (IoTBDE), which will allow organizations to capitalize on the business opportunities inherent in the availability of massive amounts of data and to facilitate the development of the next generation of smart services.

These new ecosystems are driven by the availability of data. Such data can be classified depending on origin and nature. The former distinguishes between public, private and operator data. The latter categorizes it in static data, real time data, historic data or inferred data.

Public data refers to data owned, generated and exposed by governments, municipalities or even public agencies. On the other hand, private data is data owned by businesses, for instance, occupancy levels in a private parking lot. Finally, operator data is the data managed by mobile network operators and has to do with operations made at the communication networks. Private and operator data can be offered on a commercial basis.

Static data refers to some structural aspect (location of point of interests, streets, roads) of the world which does not change so much over time. It is typically offered in the form of downloadable datasets. Real time data, on the other hand, is data coming from an IoT infrastructure and reports the dynamically-changing status of entities in the real world. Historical data, has to do with the evolution of the characteristic of an entity in a period of time, and, combined with geospatial properties, enables 4D analysis and representations. Last but not least, inferred data is insight data which has been derived from analytics performed by Big Data processes.

Until recently the open data movement has been focusing on public, static data. It is not uncommon to find that different cities, governments or public agencies are improving transparency and enabling innovation through data openness. The process consists of the indexation and publication of different data assets (datasets) using a portal, usually CKAN, or a spatial data infrastructure catalogue. Those artifacts are published in different formats and represent information using different conventions (units of measurement, coordinate systems, etc.). If a developer wants to make use of them, a process of Search, Download, Extract, Transform and Load has to be undertaken. That is not only expensive and error-prone, but the amount of resources needed to perform it increases linearly with the number of providers, or equivalently, increases with application coverage. And what is worse, if the data changes frequently, that process has to be repeated or automated to some extent.

A first approach to overcome the problems posed by the (SD)ETL approach are REST APIs. Instead of publishing datasets, data providers export a REST endpoint which accepts queries over the data exposed. For instance, currently, different weather data providers are offering APIs to get access to meteorological data throughout the world. APIs allow data providers to curate and mash-up data, offering an added value to data consumers. But still there are a plethora of different APIs, being provider lock-in a big issue. If provider changes, or a new provider is added, applications must be adapted. Last but not least, including multiple providers is hard and expensive, as a new API and format has to be learnt and integrated.

API harmonization for data access is a first step towards enabling a real IoTBDE ecosystem. The idea consists of defining a set of normalized operations, conventions and associated abstractions for querying data. As a result integration of different data sources is uniformized and made interoperable. Furthermore, developers themselves can export additional data using the same API, expanding and leveraging the overall ecosystem.

FIWARE is a champion in API harmonization. In fact, the NGSI version 2 is an open, RESTful API that allows providers to export data, using JSON representations, of different nature and origin uniformly. Below is described how NGSI version 2 can be used to get access, in a uniformed manner to data of different nature and on different spatial or temporal dimensions:

What are the Mercedes Vehicles currently at a radius of 10 kms with center Gangnam-Gu?

GET /v2/entities?type=Vehicle&coords=37.496667,127.0275
geometry=point;&georel=near;maxDistance=10000&q=manufacturer:’Mercedes Benz’

Tell me vehicle faults which happened today
GET /v2/entities?type=VehicleFault&q=startDate>=2016-04-20T00:00:00
Tell me the weather forecast for the city of Porto, Portugal
GET /v2/entities?type=WeatherForecast&q=country:PT;addressLocality:Porto
What was the ambient observed at 11:00 AM at the "Plaza de España" air quality station?
GET /v2/entities?type=AmbientObserved&q=stationCode:28079004;hour:11

As shown above, using the same API, data of different nature and origin can be exposed. That is a significant step ahead. Data providers no longer need to create datasets but to publish their NGSI version 2 endpoints to an API directory, like CKAN.

However, even if two providers implement the same API, there can be differences in data structure and representation. For instance, is relative humidity given as a relative or as an absolute value? Is wind direction represented as an angle or as a cardinal point? What is the name of the property which represents relative humidity? ‘relH’, ‘relativeHumidity’, ‘relative_humidity’. Is the validity of a weather forecast grouped as an object with two properties (‘from’, ‘to’) or with two top-level independent properties? These questions suggest that harmonized APIs are a necessary but not a sufficient condition to foster developer-friendly IoT and Big Data Ecosystems. Thus, if data models are not harmonized, then developers are, in practice, forced to change their application when porting it to another context (ex. a different city).

Harmonizing data models means to create a shared vocabulary of terms and relationships that provide uniformity on the representation of different concepts (parking, public transport, weather, …). Harmonized APIs and data models, together, will enable to create applications portable at data level. FIWARE has started an agile, implementation driven process to devise those harmonized data models. In a previous post we described the first results obtained in cooperation with GSMA and Korea Telecom. In fact, FIWARE, Telefónica and other partners showcased at MWC2016, GSMA innovation city, a car navigator capable of exploiting different real time data  (environmental and parking data) offered by several cities in different countries. This car navigator was built regardless the city, as all of them exported harmonized APIs and data models for data coming from different sensors or external systems. Such application is a salient example of the extraordinary opportunity behind IoT and Big Data ecosystems for smart applications and the potential of new businesses for telco operators, data providers, application developers and systems integrators in this vibrant space.

IoT & FIWARE along the revolution of Smart Digital Services

 3D printing, Big Data, Blog, Digital Single Market, Industry4.0, IoT, NGSI  Comments Off on IoT & FIWARE along the revolution of Smart Digital Services
Mar 082016
Smart Home Security Concept

We live surrounded by smart technology. We can make “a robot” out of almost anything, and robots are also getting smarter. This is an omnipresence that may excite some as well as scare others.
As humans, we have always tended to try and reach beyond our physical capabilities and overcome our limitations. Adaptation is an inborn animal ability, it’s even an instinctive urge. Being capable of building tools, capable to implement complex procedures and even to inform our practical decisions on abstract thinking, the Human animals have accomplished some crucial competitive advantages that allow us to reach a lot further that what our physical conditions determine. We try to interact with our environment and make our adaptation to it more satisfactory, by also adapting the environment to us. It is a two way process, deep-rooted in our History, and intrinsic to the development of the Internet of Things.
Today as always, we must become as smart and able as possible. Today, for the first time, our tools are becoming abler and smarter too.

The Internet of Things (IoT) embodies such a process of change and improvement. IoT refers to the ever increasing quantity of devices that are being added to our everyday lives, things able to communicate, able to collect, process and exchange data, and to operate following that available data.

According to predictions, by 2020, more than 50 billion devices will embed technology allowing them to collect and exchange data via Wi-Fi. A revolution in the shape of cutting-edge equipment already present in our lives, and also in the form of tools and inventions yet to come. The list expands by the day: wearables –like smartwatches or fitness bands– and there-ables –e.g. smart alarm clocks, smart thermostats or smart doors and windows– are commonly known; embeddables –microscopic computers inserted beneath our skin to upgrade ourselves- and ingestibles still sound a bit like science-fiction for most of us, but the smart pill market is expected to reach figures near $1K million by next year. Maybe terms like hearables or rideables will never be part of our conversations, but we are getting used to listening to smart playlists using some smart headphones, and travel daily in our smart cars.

Development of IoT has meant a significant disruption in the recent years, transforming how we live our lives as individuals, and how companies run their businesses. Internet of Things, combined with information processing and Big Data services on the Cloud, is going to enable a new breed of innovative Smart Digital Services. But nothing can be smart without being context-aware in the first place.

Implementation of Smart Digital Services largely rely on the management of Context Information, about the entities that are relevant to understanding what is happening around us, by different systems and solutions that are able to share that relevant data in a common language: “in order to enable the interoperability of solutions, it’s necessary to have a semantic interoperability of the data” –explains Sergio García, Technology Specialist and Smart City Solutions Leader in Industrial IoT Area, at Telefónica I+D.

Carlos Ralli, IoT, IPv6 and Future Internet expert, also at Telefónica I+D, technically illustrates the need of common standards by giving an example of interoperability of the data between different solutions and different sectors: “key SmartAgri players will also be able to push their data and semantic models by serializing them over NGSI. For instance Tragsa –a company specialized in agricultural development– is working out its MEGA data model for water management over FIWARE NGSI, enabling smooth interoperation with other systems within the SmartAgri sector and others such as Smart Cities or Smart Industry”.

The current lack of ICT platform standards to manage such information means an obstacle for the development of Smart Digital Services. Without open standards those services cannot be developed effectively, once and for multiple customers. Standards like FIWARE’s NGSI API, which proposes a common data model for getting real-time contextual data about cities, and open source data portals like CKAN, to publish the open data.

Providing a simple and powerful set of APIs that are public and royalty free, FIWARE is supporting the development of Smart Applications managing context information, so the FIWARE Open Platform could become decisive for the IoT breakthrough. The launch of the FIWARE Foundation has emphasized the intention of the community and its core members to push the adoption of FIWARE standards and technologies as essential tools for the cost effective development of IoT based services and solutions. Aiming to ease that process, FIWARE currently offers both open-source technical resources –like the Orion Context Broker and other GEs– as well as various IoT-ready commercial devices.

At the Mobile World Congress this year, up to four showcases were demonstrating IoT based solutions powered by FIWARE technology. Three of them took place at the SmartAgri stand, and the other one was part of the SmartCity exhibitions. The potential of FIWARE goes beyond one concrete vertical domain. It actually shows potential in any domain where management of context information is relevant. Smart Industry, Smart Logistics and Smart Home are three examples, and the Internet of Things would be present at –and be transverse to– all of them.

Let’s learn more about another three startups, part of the FIWARE community, that have produced commercially-ready products and services that make use of and belong to the Internet of Things advancements.


Ecogriddy´s main product is called Cortex, an IoT based solution that gathers energy data in real time from any source. It provides to its users solid energy analytics, as easy to manage as a consumer application. It's designed for energy hungry manufacturing companies that manage more than one production site and that want to run their processes in a more data-driven way, achieving costs reduction, both energy related and maintenance ones.

Ecogriddy provides a full-fledged solution, integrated with a network of sensors and with a powerful gateway, always connected to the cloud backend. Modularity, resiliency, compliance to open standards and edge computing capabilities are keystones of its architectural design. The scalability is granted both by the cloud infrastructure, and by the fact that collecting and analysing energy data is a well defined scope that can be managed with standard equipment and a flexible software.



HOP Ubiquitous´s main project is called Glue & Blue (GnB), a mobile-oriented marketplace that brings 3D printing and IoT to the consumers market. It provides initial kits and modules to allow people to start building an IoT ecosystem, composed of customizable modules and sensors, upgradable over the air with a mobile phone and connected to Internet. Via the marketplace, artists and designers can interact directly with consumers.

It aims for the home automation market, for companies in sectors such as logistics or retail —where monitoring needs shouldn’t be impacting the look and feel at their stores—, or for the financial services market —personalized automation kits have been developed in collaboration with companies such as Fujitsu and Alliaz.


WIIM is a project by Hearing Software, created in order to develop solutions supporting the needs of deaf people. With a smartwatch that connects to a pack of wireless sensors, distributed around the adapted public or private space, deaf people can receive useful information from their environment. In public buildings, like hotels or councils, deaf people will be able to receive notifications: a knock on the door, incoming messages from the reception, the fire alarm going off or the activation of a smoke alert.

The solution has been presented to several associations that helped to understand how to improve it and add new features, and they have been doing tests in deaf people homes. WIIM product is already developed for commercial use and aims to be not only an alarm-system, but an integral way to link people and spaces, by connecting with any other IoT device nearby.



 Posted by at 12:29 pm