FiWare

FIWARE and NGSIv2: towards harmonized APIs and data models for real-time context data

 Blog, Developers  Comments Off on FIWARE and NGSIv2: towards harmonized APIs and data models for real-time context data
Mar 172016
 
Businessman Checking Data

FIWARE is enabling a new generation of smarter applications which exploit large scale, real-time ‘context information’. Particularly, the NGSI version 2 API is aimed at making developer’s life easier, by providing simpler but powerful RESTful interfaces. Markedly, the combination of NGSI version 2 and harmonized data models enables the creation of portability at the data layer. As a result, a myriad of end-user applications can seamlessly work and interoperate in different scenarios, namely smart cities.

During 2015, GSMA, FIWARE (represented by Telefónica I+D) and Korea Telecom have been working on a project called ‘IoT Big Data Ecosystem’ (IoTBDE). One of the most interesting results of the IoTBDE project is a set of harmonized data models exposed through NGSI version 2. These harmonized data models have been instantiated in different datasets, which encompass actual data coming from different and original sources (cities, public organisms).  

Additionally, the referred datasets have been used by real world showcases, demoed with great success at MWC 2016, The datasets have engaged remarkably well, both with cities (Porto, Santander, Seville, Antwerp) and with accelerated SMEs. In fact, such pilot datasets are a proof of a concept with a view to developing further standardization, particularly in the context of the Open and Agile Smart Cities (OASC) initiative.

The work already done has been focusing on the following data models and accompanying datasets:

  • Point of interest (entity type PointOfInterest). It models different points of interest such as public parking lots, weather or air quality stations, and others. The pilot dataset includes data both from cities and from public organisms.

  • Weather

    • forecast (entity type WeatherForecast). It models a weather forecast, including all the expected values for the different variables (temperature, humidity, wind speed, maximum, minimum, etc.). In the pilot datasets, the weather forecasts come from public state meteorology agencies, from Spain (AEMET) and Portugal (IPMA).
    • observed (entity type WeatherObserved). It represents weather observations offered by the automated weather stations owned by AEMET.
    • ​alarms (entity type WeatherAlarm). They correspond to weather alarms provided by the European Meteoalarm service.
       
  • Ambient observed (entity type AmbientObserved). This entity type corresponds to the observations of the air quality in a city. The pilot dataset offers real time pollution data from the city of Madrid. Also, the data from Santander and Porto is currently following the same data model.

  • Parking (StreetParking or ParkingLot). Smart parking data models capture information that is needed to optimize car mobility in cities. The pilot dataset includes data from Santander. The cities of Seville, Antwerp and Porto are currently offering their data following the same data model.

Practical examples of using the NGSIv2 API, implementation details and additional information, are all provided at the Github repository of the project.

The IoTBDE project has enabled the experimentation, and validated the suitability of the FIWARE-NGSIv2 (APIs plus harmonized data models) as a universal mechanism for sharing context data of different nature. Further work, which will be conducted together with GSMA, other telco operators and with the whole FIWARE Community, will involve the refinement and improvement of NGSI version 2 by including linked data features (JSON-LD), and the commencement of a more formal standardization work around data models.

Last but not least, we encourage entrepreneurs, developers and researchers to contribute to this exciting work and to continue experimenting and building nice stuff with FIWARE and its open APIs!

Jose Manuel Cantera Fonseca. Technological Expert (Telefónica I+D)

 

 

#MYFIWARESTORY: A SMART CITIES STORY

 Accelerator Programme, Blog, myFIWAREstory, OASC, SmartCities  Comments Off on #MYFIWARESTORY: A SMART CITIES STORY
Dec 182015
 
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Cities are almost as old as society itself, their birth being surrounded by mysteries and legends such as the one of Romulus and Remus and the foundation of Rome. Since then, since the times of Roman urbanism, our urban environments have changed a lot. Not only in terms of distribution or legislation, but, especially, in terms of city management. And now, the new trend in city management is the creation of smart environments. We have already spoken about the smartness of devices, but now we can speak about cities that can manage their own information for the benefit of citizens.

And, for FIWARE, these urban environments, which are generally called Smart Cities, have been essential, as some of our enablers are meant to deal with the traffic of information that only places such as cities can generate. Apart from that, the Open & Agile Smart Cities Initiative is now modeling a standardized procedure to cope with data, so that the solutions created for one city can be adapted for others.

Some of the most interesting projects that have been founded and funded thanks to the FIWARE Accelerator Programme are actually destined to develop solutions in this field. That is why it is now the time to give them the floor and listen to the voices of those really working to improve the places we live in. Because their voices are our own.

Because this is our story… Which is yours?

Apps Speak Louder Than Words

 APIs, Blog, OASC, SmartCities, TM Forum  Comments Off on Apps Speak Louder Than Words
Dec 022015
 
Smart Applications

It is hardly possible to remember when the word “smart” was first used to describe a service, or some kind of technology, or a city. Shortly after we heard someone speak about smartphones for the first time, we were speaking of smart televisions, smart washing machines or even smart houses. But none of them were showing what we understood as smart behavior. Or maybe they were, ‘cause, in the end, what do we mean by “smart”? Smart means context-aware, i.e. able to receive and analyze all of the data that is generated and transmitted around a particular device. So, maybe a fridge will never quote Plato by heart or get touched by a sonnet, but it can already count the number of, say, eggs it contains and, in case they are less than expected, tell you that you should go to the supermarket before you run out of them.

If that happens with just an appliance, imagine which the expectations were for a whole city. The whole urban area could be translated into data that, once interpreted, could be used for the benefit of citizens. You don’t need to go that far to see that, because, even if we did not notice, smartness has come to stay. When FIWARE was born, it offered a set of APIs that were supposed to fulfill those smart functionalities that developers may want to implement in their applications. After a while, they proved to be quite useful for urban data and environments.

75 cities from all over the world have already joined what we have called the Open & Agile Smart Cities Initiative, an effort to standardize the procedures that cities use when coping with data. Some of them, such as Porto (Portugal), are making such a great use of these standards that have become an example of what a smart city must be, while also fostering its existing entrepreneurial tissue with collaborations such as the one with Ubiwhere. The common incentive shared by both cities and initiatives is the drive to form a collaborative network and to deploy strategies with a common objective to promote cities. This ecosystem provides the standards to integrate data, where the FIWARE platform offers endless opportunities to work with other entities in order to achieve this goal. It allows the collaboration, the sharing of knowledge and the integration of data in order to create application and advance smart cities.  This is the fuel that engines the applications making cities become smart cities.

The focus on real-time data is something that the European Open Data Portal has also considered when making its agreement with FIWARE. From now on, the data that is contained in that portal will not only be part of the archive, but will also be shown in real time. That update offers a wide range of possibilities. Not only is the offering of data important, but also the treatment that we, as users, make of them; an aspect that has also been considered in the joint effort of TM Forum and FIWARE to improve the management of data. TM Forum’s Ecosystem APIs, including Product Catalog, Product Ordering and Product Inventory, will be incorporated within the specifications and open source reference implementation of the FIWARE Business Framework. This Framework enables the management and the monetization of different kinds of digital assets involving multiple partners.

And now, looking back on all that has been done since the FIWARE adventure began, the trace that we have left behind is not only that of agreements and intentions, but a group of applications that are already offering smart services. Hostabee, MejoraTuCiudad, BatSharing, TalkyCar… The list seems almost endless. And their success has turned out to be ours, ‘cause the real goal of our work has always been making them able to manage data from cities to build real applications for real users. It is true, we can hardly remember the first time we heard someone using “smart” to define a service, but we are so glad and thankful to have become part of that trend, that it is our commitment to keep on working to create the smartest of places for citizens.

 

Dutch cities collaborate on Open and Agile Smart Cities

 Blog, OASC, SmartCities  Comments Off on Dutch cities collaborate on Open and Agile Smart Cities
Nov 302015
 
Application abstract network

Amersfoort – Six Dutch cities signed the Open & Agile Smart Cities (OASC) letter of intent to join an initiative that will create smart cities based on the needs of cities and communities. Amersfoort, Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Enschede, Rotterdam and Utrecht declared to join forces and accelerate the smart city wave by adapting the FIWARE Lab NL platform.

The Dutch Open & Agile Smart Cities initiative aims to create an open smart city based on the needs of the market. Cities need interoperability and standards to boost competitiveness by avoiding vendor lock-in, comparability to benchmark performance, and easy sharing of best practices. But most of all, they need practical solutions.

The Dutch OASC cities achieve their vision by adopting four simple mechanisms:

1. Disclose data

To ensure that all cities and developers can disclose the already existing data, FIWARE Lab NL created a CKAN environment in which data will be free to use, but the ownership will remain at the person responsible for delivering the data. In addition to the CKAN environment a CITY SDK solution will enable developers to connect several datasets with each other.

2. Implementation attitude

The participating OASC cities, interested companies and developers also have the opportunity to hand over specific projects and problems that include the use of data for integrated smart city solutions. The lab aims to deliver solutions that will lead to practical implementations within the OASC cities for governments, companies or other developers.

3. OASC cities and their communities

The OASC cities will support regional, national and international open data events like IT Smart Cities at Amersfoort or Amsterdam Smart City. The FIWARE Lab NL will also organise several OASC challenges. These meet-ups will challenge application developers to develop open and agile application for the smart cities by aligning different projects and to create a successful data platform.

4. European connection

FIWARE Lab NL will coordinate open smart city activities in the Netherlands with a connection with the OASC cities. Every city will create alliances with different projects within their city to ensure the local and regional commitment. Amersfoort will remain to be the coordinating city for all the OASC cities. This project will also explore the European potential of the data platform and share results on regular meetings and events.

About FIWARE Lab NL

Fiware Lab NL is the initiative of a consortium with members Deloitte, Civity, Elba-Rec, Onetrail and Xcellent. The Province of Utrecht supports this investment in this innovation infrastructure. Fiware Lab NL is located in Utrecht and Amersfoort.

Porto, a City that Has Become a Real-time Guide

 Blog, IoT, myFIWAREstory, NGSI, OASC, Smart Mobility, SmartCities, Success Story  Comments Off on Porto, a City that Has Become a Real-time Guide
Nov 202015
 
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Imagine walking or driving through a city and the city itself tells you which trendy spots to check out, where to park your car in that moment, or which areas to avoid because of air quality or traffic congestion. In Porto, Portugal, this vision has become a reality and the city itself is already communicating directly with residents, tourists and even startup businesses using FIWARE standards and the UrbanSense platform.

As one of the first cities that joined the Open and Agile Smart Cities (OASC) initiative back in March this year, Porto has been a pioneer city adopting FIWARE standards with the support of Ubiwhere, a Portuguese company experienced in the development of middleware and platforms. A key instrument in the development of Porto’s open city platform is the UrbanSense infrastructure, which was developed under the European funded project Future Cities Project. The Future Cities Project is a partnership between the University of Porto and the City Council aiming to create IMG_4696a Competence Centre for Future Cities in the city of Porto. Together, but also with the participation of the Citibrain joint-venture, the city of Porto and Ubiwhere have developed the interfaces bringing access to real-time, contextual environmental data from 75 fixed and mobile units (monitoring stations) located across the city. The data is augmented by scanners installed on the city Council’s 200+ fleet of vehicles, creating a large-scale mobile scanner. External providers like the city’s water supplier, transport data providers, social media data and business startup statistics are all plugged in to the platform to allow the city itself to guide you as you explore, travel, and work. The city of Porto now has plans to leverage the results of this work and expand the FIWARE/OASC-compliant urban platform to become the central point of its new integrated management and control center. Another example of the Porto’s full commitment in the OASC initiative, the city of Porto has just created a competition (www.desafiosporto.pt) to support the development of applications on top of its integrated management and control center platform. With this competition, the city, in partnership with 4 large companies (NOS, CEIIA, EDP and EY) will fund up to 4 solutions with a total of 250 thousands of euros available.

Following the steps taken by Porto, and again with the support of Ubiwhere, several other Portuguese cities (e.g. Águeda, Aveiro, São João da Madeira and Torres Vedras) are starting to provide real-time data on mobility/ transportation and environment.

The key to helping the city communicate effectively is to have partnerships with companies like the location and mapping provider HERE. The HERE platform is behind the navigator system embedded in most of the cars and communication with the city, which would enable the display of real-time open data in navigation maps, improving the overall user experience.

One of the issues for companies like HERE when they are trying to build applications/services for end users is the lack of smart city de-facto standard interfaces, enabling homogeneous access to relevant data. As a result, integrating real-time open data exported by any city requires the development of software adapters which are costly and take time to become ready.

If cities were exporting the data in a standard manner, creating an application that can be developed once and work in cities around the world would be feasible.

Lack of standard interfaces for accessing real-time data of cities becomes a rather huge challenge for SMEs and startups because they cannot afford to repeat the development of adapters in each city. While the benefits for end users can be great, they are too high to be passed on through a low-costing app, which has held back the smart cities, Internet of Things, and civic tech industries so far.

The FIWARE NGSI standard API enabling access to information of what is going on in OASC cities makes plugging a wide range of real-time sensor data into its platform much easier. It allows businesses like HERE to create a solution first tested in the city of Porto, involving citizens and travellers, which can be ported without changes or adaptation to other cities, currently 75, that are signed up to OASC.

“We are able to add another layer of insight into the HERE platform; localizing it more and making it more specific to the user,” said James Marugg, Sr Account Executive at HERE. “The FIWARE Open Platform allows for vast amounts of data to be received and fed into other systems.”

Using the FIWARE standards, the UrbanSense platform is able to support a number of applications that enable the city to talk directly to residents and visitors and can be ported to those cities that will become part of the OASC initiative:

  • HERE’s mapping application that lets travellers map their directions, avoid contributing to areas of high traffic pollution and drive directly to an available car parking space in real time;
  • A travel app that tells visitors which sites are then trending in that moment in travellers recommendations;
  • Applications that help share relevant data and information to help new businesses locate their offices and shopfronts;
  • An application to improve Quality of Life that, among others, monitors levels of UV radiation;
  • A water management app that lets residents compare their water consumption with others’ based on profiles.

The Ubiwhere, Citibrain and HERE demos were showcased at the SCEWC Smart City Plaza and FIWARE booth this week in Barcelona, while more cities also announced they joined the OASC Initiative.

Open & Agile Smart Cities Initiative at Tampere (Finland)

 Blog, events  Comments Off on Open & Agile Smart Cities Initiative at Tampere (Finland)
Oct 162015
 
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Some months ago, we announced that the amount of cities joining the Open & Agile initiative had climbed up to 50. “Capitals and cities with a population of millions, as well as small- and medium-sized cities are finding their role in this pragmatic network of networks”, said Martin Brynskov, Chair of the Connected Smart Cities Network Board. “We have experienced”, Brynskov continues, “a strong interest from cities to join this second wave, actually much stronger than anticipated, so we have decided to reschedule the launch and allow more cities and countries to join”.

During the second half of September (22nd-23rd), an event in Tampere (Finland) gathered the main representatives of this initiative and let them evaluate the direction of this effort to establish some Smart City standards. The event also included workshops to learn and share experiences about the OASC mechanisms, which meant a great opportunity for OASC partners to meet colleagues and partners from the rest of the world. It was the inaugural OASC Task Force meeting for new countries that had already joined. And, according to the webpage of the Connected Smart Cities Network, “national events are scheduled as we speak”. The Dutch cities in OASC NL met on June 25th to discuss the next steps, and in Belgium, OASC BE did so on June 24th. The Danish cities met on June 2nd to launch Open Data DK, forming the basis for OASC DK.

Did new cities join the Open & Agile Smart Cities initiative?

So far, the total amount of cities in the Open & Agile Smart Cities initiative is 59, among which we could highlight the incorporation of new cities from Ireland, Scotland, France, the Netherlands and… Australia. FIWARE is in fact focusing its efforts towards new latitudes and we may soon witness the effects of its work. Are you still a bit lost in all these cities? You can see which ones are part of this initiative in this map.

Apart from announcing the incorporation of new cities, some work teams were created, each one of them focusing on a different aspect of the Open & Agile Smart Cities initiative; i.e. a technical team, a funding team, a communication team and a team working on the engagement of cities. Some of the tasks of the technical team, for instance, include the publication of NGSI resources in open data publication portals, the creation of mechanisms to acquire access rights to open data or the federation of open data publication portals. All of its responsibilities will be then included into some clear guidelines that may help adopters to implement the Open & Agile Smart Cities principles.

Open & Agile Smart Cities in ICT 2015

If you want to learn more about the Open & Agile Smart Cities initiative and how Smart Cities bank on FIWARE to develop their projects, visit us at the networking sessions that will take place during ICT Lisbon 2015. Visit the agenda of the session for more detailed information.

FIWARE strengthens its presence in Latin America

 Blog, events, Hackathons  Comments Off on FIWARE strengthens its presence in Latin America
Jul 222015
 
FIWARE
  • In order to achieve technological autonomy, Mexico joins the FIWARE ecosystem and opens the second and most important FIWARE Lab node.
  • This process of integration will help Mexico to develop Smart Cities and cope with problems in the fields of safety, energy management, healthcare and logistics.
  • Different support programs will help entrepreneurs to develop their FIWARE applications.

 

Mexico D.F., 22nd of July 2015. Infotec will lead the integration of Mexico into the FIWARE ecosystem [fiware.org]. This process will include a plan to adopt open standards, thus easing the development of Smart Cities; the launch of a laboratory (linked to a sensor network) to do research on the Internet of the Future and an acceleration program to promote the development of startups using FIWARE. Furthermore, Mexico also opens the second and most important FIWARE Lab node, which will encourage entrepreneurs to JV3A7597experiment with FIWARE technologies. This group, led by Infotec, also includes entities such as Tecnológico de Monterrey, the Mexican Technology Platform, CENIDET, Grupo Plenum and CENTROGeo.

This collaboration is the first step towards an active participation and contribution of these ICT actors to maintain FIWARE. Infotec will be in charge of enhancing, maintaining and supporting key components of the platform, by creating the necessary teams and hosting training sessions. “Mexico has shown a strong commitment with FIWARE, which is a very remarkable step in the bilateral collaboration between Mexico and Europe”, states Juanjo Hierro, FIWARE Chief Architect, who shares the opinion that “there is a need for open standards, which will facilitate the creation of a market which is not constrained by a specific provider.”

FIWARE, a platform that was created in collaboration with the European Commission in 2011, aims at increasing the European GDP in a 0.24 % (28,000 €) by creating new job posts and enterprises based on the Internet of Things. That is the same purpose of FIWARE in Mexico. “There is no free platform that allows industries to develop applications based on the knowledge of universities and research centers”, says Hugo Estrada Esquivel, Research Coordinator in Infotec and leader of the Laboratorio Nacional del Internet del Futuro, which contains the Mexican FIWARE Lab node.

The platform facilitates the creation of an ecosystem to connect developers with a technology that will allow them to work on their ideas. JV3A7611The platform also targets clients, who can ask for applications; and investors, who will be able to accelerate its implementation in the market. In addition, the availability of FIWARE components as open-source code can ease both the adoption of the platform as a standard and the creation of an app market that draws the attention of investors. “It is a technology that gathers universities, enterprises, providers and clients and allows them to collaborate. It will have a huge impact on our local economy”, states the representative of Infotec. This system ensures technological autonomy and improves both Mexican entrepreneurship and innovation, by assembling different actors that used to work separately.

This agreement also includes the incorporation of some cities into the Open & Agile Smart Cities (OASC) initiative. Thus, Mexico joins a project that already gathers 44 cities in 9 countries and that expects 50 cities to have joined by September, around 100 by end of the year. These cities are committed to use the same standards when developing solutions for Smart Cities. The initiative is aimed at transforming cities into engines of growth for their citizens. “Cities joining to the OASC initiative in Mexico will soon witness the impact of FIWARE, which will help them to make the most of their resources and energy, safety, healthcare and logistics systems. Thus, public authorities will save public resources”, says the representative of Infotec.

In order to carry out this plan successfully, organizations like Infotec in Mexico have to master this technology and be able to “organize training sessions and opportunities for entrepreneurs, industry, institutions and universities”, says Juanjo Hierro. “We must bet on a technology that can be supported locally in Mexico”. In order to achieve that goal, one of the first steps may be the implementation of an acceleration program by FIWARE.  Previous experience in Europe will help to promote FIWARE in Latin America. The participation of entities such as CONACYT or the Secretariat of Economy will also be very important for the implementation of funding programs and support entities, such as the Mexican Technology Platform (MTP). As an example, the FP7 CONECTA 2020 initiative, coordinated by Carmen Agüero and presented by Tecnológico de Monterrey, is disseminating the model of Technological Platforms in other Latin American countries, which is a good opportunity to promote FIWARE, considering that these technologies are based on ICT and the Internet of the Future.

Campus Party Mexico and Training Session for FIWARE Trainers

FIWARE will attend the next Campus Party Mexico from the 23rd to the 26th of July. During those days, it will launch the challenge “FIWARE IoT and Context Awareness Smart Apps #CPMX6”, with a prize of $170,000 for the best FIWARE context-aware applications making use of information of the Internet of Things. Furthermore, from the 20th to the 22nd of July, in Infotec, FIWARE will host a training session and conferences to present FIWARE, solutions for Smart Cities and the plans led by Infotec regarding promotion of FIWARE. “Having one of the biggest nodes in the world is worth nothing”, states Hugo Estrada Esquivel from Infotec, “if we do not show the advantages of the platform and train people to use it in their organizations.”