FiWare

Help NYC and Barcelona Enhance Mobility for the Low Vision Community

 Challenges, Open Calls, SmartCities  Comments Off on Help NYC and Barcelona Enhance Mobility for the Low Vision Community
Oct 262017
 

 

New York City and Barcelona have joined forces to launch a joint call for innovative solutions, challenging YOU, the global technology community, to improve safety at intersections for blind and low-vision pedestrians.

 

Whether it's a smartphone application, a wearable device, or another technology solution that can help citizens with vision loss; if you can think of creative, innovative ways to leverage personal devices, location-aware technologies, and data sources ranging from NYC Open Data and Barcelona Open Data to signal timings, then this challenge will be right up your alley.

 

Interested? APPLY NOW and submit your applications before November 2, 2017 to get involved and to work towards ‘a city for all’. This could be a great opportunity for you to gain visibility and to show the strength of your projects, as well as FIWARE tech, when applied to mobility, accessibility and inclusion in Smart Cities. Winners will be eligible for funding from the selecting city to pilot their solution.

#MyFIWAREstory – WiseTown: city quality enhancer

 Accelerator Programme, Blog, IoT, myFIWAREstory, Open Data, SmartCities, Success Story  Comments Off on #MyFIWAREstory – WiseTown: city quality enhancer
Sep 092016
 
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Recent studies show that data generated in the world doubles every year: most of this information concerns our daily life and should be of interest for the municipality where we live. But municipalities are often small or medium-sized ones and cannot manage to sort and analyze all the information that is being produced or all the citizens’ requests around it.
In order to solve that unevenness between goals and capabilities, it is important to develop a Smart Data plan as a central part of each Smart City strategy: data is the key point to activate Civic Technologies and to make them really effective.

TeamDev, founded in 2008, mixes its software skills with the Geographical Information Systems (GIS) competencies with the aim of creating tools and products that prove able to support vertical markets and to clear up the problems encountered while undertaking daily tasks or dealing with predictive analysis routines.
The Research and Development team is composed by Smart City experts, Full Stack developers, User eXperience experts and Data scientists.

During the recent years, the working team doubled the effort to put these skills in use in two vertical sectors at the same time, creating and adapting the solutions to fit each one of them. For the agricultural field and within the SmartAgri scope, the team developed the Agricolus ecosystem. And, for smart cities, they have deployed the WiseTown project.
Even regarding the evident differences between these two dominium, there is a common denominator: the high impact that the data analysis presents for both of them.

WiseTown stands for ‘Web Information Streams Enhancer for your Town’. The goal of this solution is to collect information from different streams to identify the issues that are affecting the city in several areas: urban renewal, garbage collection, public safety, transportation, social services and environmental problems. In addition, real-time analysis is accessible by creating a “situation room” to manage the singular occurrences.

In action, WiseTown follows three steps: first, it acquires the data from different sources (portals, social networks, mobile apps, IoT sensors and Open Data from other sources); then, organizes the information according to a comprehensive knowledge database that has been made previously available; and last, it uses the data in order to deliver one-to-one feedback, geographic analysis for events and emergencies and other decision support systems.

wisetown1
More than a single web application, WiseTown is a whole ecosystem that offers analytics and management functionalities, that can support future urban planning, ease to handle real-time events and contingencies and that can aid the creation of a participative environment whete citizens and town managers can discuss the city development.

WiseTown is powered by FIWARE. The WISE orchestrator is the module that interacts with the social connectors, the external APIs and the others data sources. It runs the management of the information collection process, enabling the solution to gather data from several sources. In this phase the orchestrator uses FIWARE Orion Context Broker to connect the platform with the open data, hosted in a CKAN based platform. It also uses FIWARE NGSI to connect the IoT sensors feeds and uses Orion notifications to feed the APIs, exposed for the integration with other software.

The engine analyses, ranks and aggregate the data, assigning the ownership of the information to the right office. Then, it starts its core work: the management and analysis of the reports. Wise Engine is still responsible for the workflow of the reports while Orion Context Broker dispatches the information to the user interface, the GIS environment and FIWARE Cosmos.
The most valuable part of the platform still is the information itself. The platform’s supervisors will perform geographical analysis thanks to the ArcGIS Online geoprocessing capabilities and pattern analysis with the business intelligence functionalities of FIWARE Spago B-I GE.
wisetown2The final goal of WiseTown being adopted by the cities is to allow them to:

  • Monitor, within a single process, both human generated and IoT generated information.
  • Generate a valuable database, connecting heterogeneous systems and gathering information that will be useful for urban planning
  • Engage citizens to improve their own city and providing them with real-time feedback on the city issues
  • Save management costs and avoid the waste of human resources, reducing:

     

     

    • The time to resolve each issue that has been proposed as important or problematic
    • The time to send each issue to the right person to deal with it, within the municipality
    • The time to manage a complete set of issues, thanks to the algorithms that can remove/aggregate redundant/coincident issues
    • The targeted clients for the WiseTown solution are, undoubtedly, the cities. By adopting the smart platform that TeamDev has delivered, a city management would accomplish the monitoring of human generated and IoT generated information within a single process, thus creating a valuable database that can interconnect with heterogeneous systems and gather and show information that can be useful for urban planning. WiseTown would also engage the community to improve the city by receiving the data generated by the citizens and giving them back real-time feedback on city issues.

WiseTown ranked as one of the final top projects accelerated by Finodex and has been involved in the FIWARE Mundus initiative and present its solution at the GCTC events in Washington DC and Austin, where the participation was shared with one of WiseTown first customers and early adopters: the City of Perugia.

A great occasion to discover the WiseTown project would be the next and near event organized around the Open Data Accelerators.

This is our story, which is yours?

FIWARE AT THE GCTC'16 – ANDREA CRUCIANNI – WiseTown: City Quality Enhancer from FIWARE on Vimeo.

#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?

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.

What makes a Smart App?

 Developers  Comments Off on What makes a Smart App?
Jul 012015
 
Smart Applications

The following post is a collaboration by Benedikt Herudek, consultant at Accenture. We would like to thank him for his collaboration and willingness to participate.

FIWARE applications are all about creating smart services and that requires being aware of the context. As one might expect, FIWARE doesn’t have a patent on that idea but hooks in to a wider trend in digitalization and IoT: nowadays, we have so much and so much potentially useful data available via the Internet and sensors that we could benefit from separate units of software to handle it, which are referred to as Context Brokers. Following Gartner’s Context Brokers for Smarter Business Decisions, published on the 21st of January 2015:

The underlying concept of a context broker is to have a separate software facility that gathers, prepares and serves context data so that a decision maker —a person or an application system— can have the benefit of this data without having to do all of the work of obtaining and managing the context data as part of the application itself. It is essentially a design pattern for sourcing context data more efficiently and effectively, offloading work from the decision-making application. A widely used Context Broker coming as an apache license is mosquitto.

FIWARE uses that concept (described to some extent in this blog post) and adopts it mainly (for the moment) for Smart Cities and Internet of Things. FIWARE applications are therefore supposed to be smart, in the sense of context aware applications. One could say, FIWARE does mainly two things with this idea. First, it tries to establish a standard protocol accepted all over Europe and thereby scales a market. Second, FIWARE does context management in a smart way. FIWARE context management is modelled along the design of the SNMP simple network management protocol reusing a standard called ‘NGSI’. The original NGSI standard has been created by the OMA standardization organization. However, this original definition is “abstract” and not directly usable, thus FIWARE has bound it to a “concrete” API definition based on RESTful design principles.

In that design, there is a context of so-called 'Entities'; i.e. relevant things to your application. 'Values' are the attributes of these entities, which change over time. A context could represent the reality in your own house or in a large city with entities like, for example, shops or buses.

The FIWARE Context Broker will allow your application to be unaware about how these context values are rendered: for instance, the temperature in a street could be rendered because users placed it on Twitter or rather because the city council decides to add sensors to buses. The FIWARE Orion Context Broker should hide this for you. The context model is extendable, so one can add features such as a value to rate certain buildings. FIWARE is built on REST (stateless) APIs, which are easy to use for developers. Payloads will use JSON or XML. If you need to know what the status of an entity is, you only need to read the value of an entity. If you want to trigger an action and the device allows so, all you need to do is changing the value of an attribute. You can do this with simple PUT and GET calls. The Context Broker connects to IoT agents, which connects to the devices.

Find here a visualization of the Orion Conext Broker from a 3rd party, not supported by FIWARE itself.

 

The Orion Context Broker shields you as a developer of Smart City applications from a complex setup of an agent – brokerage architecture. Compare it to the (business activity) monitoring solution of a production system for a large client. The Technical Architecture Team will have to deploy agents monitoring the systems, which will connect to the main system; for example, a console where you can see the status of an order or the memory consumption of a system. The infrastructure needs to be setup and maintained by a team of experts. As an end user, you don’t mind about how it works as long as your central instance allows you to interact with the deployed agents and the connected systems. In the world of Smart Cities and FIWARE, cities subscribing to the FIWARE standard would deliver the setup for you and you, as a developer, only connect to the front end, the Orion Context Broker.

The Orion Context Broker runs on top of the IoT Broker. This is a module introduced to handle the complexity of a large setup with 1000s of Devices and IoT agents connecting to them. Imagine you have an application with sensors in agriculture over large patches of lands over an entire country. Or maybe you have a city with many sensors and complex requests like, e.g.: 'Give me all cars in the street, their location and whatever else you know!'. Here, you might get several thousands of responses back. In that case, you will need a unit which handles and aggregates data for you and a unit to discover sensors in the street. A rule of thumb apparently says: with more than 1000 sensors, you should add an IoT broker to your application.

The IoT Broker will connect to the IoT agents in the field and manage them. The IoT Agents are pieces of software connecting to sensors from devices in the field. They translate IoT protocols like CoAP or MQTT into the Open Mobile Alliance NGSI standard that FIWARE will use. A showcase was done in Santander, Spain as the Context Broker and the IoT standard is developed by Telefonica research center.

From 'aware' to 'Smart'

Once you have all this data in your application, you will use other enablers to do smart things. FIWARE delivers a suite of generic enablers, which allow you to implement different functionalities.

FIWARE is also framed in the Open Data movement. This Open Data movement is pioneered by the (co-)founder of the world wide web Tim Berner Lee and connected to terms like semantic web, linked data, which has as one of its goals to make the web machine readable, where current HTML pages are targeted at human users to consume.

FIWARE uses the open-source Open Data framework ckan to offer a platform and marketplace for Open Data. Thanks to it, free data can be published, enforcing terms & conditions and using data with a fee. The scenarios here are either cities publishing data for free or companies publishing enriched data for a fee. Ckan datastore delivers search & discover functionalities to find published information.

One way of enriching data is to build FIWARE mashups on top of your dataset and visualize them this way. Such data mashups can be sold to newspapers to embed the information revealed in their online presence.

If gathering sensor data from the Internet of Things is a core concept, a Big Data analytics cannot be far. FIWARE hence offers a generic enabler to analyze Big Data. FIWARE uses hadoop under the FIWARE codename cosmos as it's a big data platform. Apache Hadoop's MapReduce and HDFS components were inspired by Google papers on their MapReduce and Google File System.

A typical use case of Big Data analytics would be that sensor data flows in via the Orion Context Broker to a FIWARE instance; for example, temperatures in the field. The Orion Context Broker itself only holds the last value of an entity. To have the historical view on temperature, one will connect the Orion Context Broker via a FIWARE component called Cygnus with hadoop, where the data will be stored and can be analyzed.  Cygnus uses the subscription/notification feature of the Context Broker, detailing which entities one wants to be notified when an update occurs on any of those entities attributes. Cygnus is based on apache flume and will allow to persist data from the Context Broker not only to hadoop but also mysql or ckan. Licenses are currently open-source, at some point these components might be feedback to the apache foundation to the hadoop ecosystem.

Telefonica delivers other add ons to hadoop called 'Tidoop' intended to allow using generic non HDFS data located at CKAN or Mango DB.

FIWARE offers Mashup technologies to create parts of front ends. This Mashup technology is useful for dashboards and maps, which are useful to be embedded, for example, in webpages to blend in a real time data camera from an open-source. A 'Widget' is a building block to build a 'Mashup'. Widgets are connected to each other via 'Wires'. Backends can be accessed directly by widgets via so-called operators. After you build such a mashup and have created a useful visualization, the mashup can be published back to the FIWARE catalogue to reuse and to sell it on the internal store. FIWARE also offers 3D and Augmented Reality visualization frameworks based on HTML5, WebGL, XML3D and XLOW.

FIWARE integrates the Kurento Mediaserver in its platform. Kurento is based on WebRTC, which is a World Wide Web Consortium standard with open-source delivered from Google.  It allows, for example, to create browser communication easily. You should be able to create something like Skype easily. Kurento is implementing this standard. Kurento is an open-source platform making it possible to create a rich WebRTC and multimedia applications. For example, you will use so-called media elements, which are used for example to record videostreams. One will need one video to receive and one media element to record the stream and one will need to connect them properly. Kurento also allows to integrate augmented reality elements in videostreams and can thereby be useful for a Smart City context, e.g. by adding virtual objects like arrows to walk through a street. Thanks to these technologies, it is also possible to detect building of large groups in a city, this could be useful, for example, to direct police to large crowds assembling during concerts or sport events. Kurento is closely integrated with the OpenCV libraries, mainly aimed at real-time computer vision and is used for interactive art, to mines inspection, stitching maps on the web or through advanced robotics and backed by Intel.

As an open platform, you can use any GUI framework like javascript or php frameworks as a base and use the described generic enabler for user interaction.

Net Futures 2015

 
Net Futures 2015

This year as a new feature, the conference will be a single event bringing together all of Net Futures' interest groups around cross-cutting topics: IoT, open source, cloud, smart cities, and start-ups.  It will also include consultation meetings that cover all Net Futures' topicsNetwork Technologies, Software & Services, Cloud, Net Innovation and Experimental Platforms.

The event will be structured around three pillars that represent stages in the life-cycle of an idea: research and innovation, technological validation, and final delivery to market.  We want you to be involved!

Join us and share your thoughts and visionary ideas to provoke discussion and develop best practices.  We are looking for creative approaches that can converge to define future research and innovation that drives the digital economy.

Come to hear the talks from some of the most influential minds in research and innovation.  Participate in the cross-cutting sessions, unconference and FIWARE hackathon. There will also be a showcase of successful projects that became reality through funding by European Commission.

A full programme for both days will soon be available on the Net Futures 2015 website. Follow @netfuturesEU on twitter and ask any questions using the#netfutures15 hashtag.

Registrations will open end of 2014.

FIWARE Lab from the Engine Room

 Blog  Comments Off on FIWARE Lab from the Engine Room
Jan 082015
 
Future Internet Opportunities for Smart Cities

The following post has been written by Miguel Carrillo Pacheco, Project Manager at Telefonica R&D. We would like to thank him for his participation and his willingness to collaborate.

It seems like it was yesterday, but it was back in the summer of 2013 when Mrs Neelie Kroes, former Vice-President of the European Commission, officially launched the FIWARE Lab in Campus Party London. People saw the flashes, the CEOs giving speeches and the large audiences in great auditoriums. But … what stood behind the cameras?

To understand what made it possible we must know that a key partner joined the FIWARE consortium in June 2012, a year before launching the FIWARE Lab. Red.es manages RedIRIS, the National Research and Education Network (NREN) in Spain, so they already had the know-how and experience required to provide the connectivity and the housing of servers of FIWARE Lab’s first node. Better still, they are in a company-neutral position as they are a governmental entity, related to the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism. Once Red.es learned about FIWARE, they enthusiastically supported us and, after the usual formal steps, they joined the consortium. You cannot imagine how much effort and determination it takes to build a new lab from scratch, and especially one of this magnitude: procurements of network switches and computing nodes, creation of data center facilities able to house them, network setup… Also, we needed the contribution of other public entities which were crucial for our success. Depending on the case, they contributed with room for the labs or even with computing capacity. We are speaking about the University of Cantabria and both the Seville and Malaga City Councils in a first phase, the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in a second phase. All of them in connection with Santander and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria City Councils to provide Open Data to the platform.

After thousands of emails, a first production-ready FIWARE Lab was available for the Campus Party in London. FIWARE Lab has come a long way since then, the capacity is continuously growing and new nodes are joining. And this is not only about infrastructure and GEs, many cities are willing to join us and are starting to progressively publish their Open Data via FIWARE Lab.

The second major breakthrough of FIWARE Lab was the expansion to a European network of federated nodes thanks to the XIFI project. FIWARE is twinned with this project that focuses on the uptake, deployment and federation of instances of FIWARE facilities. This is achieved via one of their major results, FIWARE Ops, a collection of tools that ease the deployment, set-up and operation of FIWARE nodes expanding an existing FIWARE instance such as the FIWARE Lab, or the creation of new FIWARE instances.

Today, FIWARE Lab has turned into a truly pan-European network of federated nodes that keeps on growing to multiple locations (expected to reach 3000+ cores, 16TB+ Ram, 750TB+ HD soon). Users can decide on what location/node to deploy their service. All of the nodes are accessible by a single user portal and work in the same way, no matter where you are! Putting together current nodes and future incorporations, we already have many nodes: Spain, Trento, Lannion, Waterford, Berlin, Mexico, Zurich, Budapest, C4I, Karlskrona, Gent, Prague, two locations in the Athens area, Volos, Stockholm, Poznan, Crete, …

Wait! Did we say pan-European? We’d better say GLOBAL. Yes, a Mexican node comprising 1200+ servers funded by Infotec and Conacyt recently joined the FIWARE Lab and it is one of its more prominent nodes from October 2014 onwards. We are in talks with new incorporations from Brazil, Chile, Japan …

This is just the beginning; let us see what the future brings.

Open Data. Untapping the hidden value

 Blog  Comments Off on Open Data. Untapping the hidden value
Oct 022014
 
open data

During the past years the public administrations from all over the world have been involved in the deployment of public data pools,  sharing data owned by the public administration over an open-shared scheme. The main intention of these practices has been bringing transparency to the public sector and the adoption of new open-government initiatives.

The increase of open data has even brought assessments like “data is the new oil” and the idea of new business generation thanks to its use, will definitely increase income by the administration, so that taxes will be the way to provide economic sustainability to all the open data infrastructure deployed.

Moreover, recent studies point out the potential value of open data, for instance, McKinsey Global states that the use of open data could generate more than $3 trillion a year in additional value only in the US and Deloitte shows how open data creates new opportunities in the UK.

It is also worth to mention the initiative OpenData500 which is currently analysing 500 companies in the US making use of open data somehow in their business processes. This permits to really quantify the value untapped and prove the need of publishing more data to boost innovation.

FIWARE and one of its accelerators, FINODEX, provide both the technical infrastructure and the funds to make this real. On the first hand, FIWARE counts already with a remarkable amount of open data provided by different cities at FIWARE Lab. On the other hand, FINODEX provides the experience and the business modelling skills that a start-up needs to turn their data-based business idea into reality.

In sum, if open data is the new oil, FIWARE and FINODEX are the drills to extract it. Do not hesitate to apply to the first open call for proposals opened from the 7th of October to the 19th of December.