Interoperability means savings for cities and business for companies. Since 2012 Forum Virium Helsinki has been a key player in Smart City API harmonization efforts through its wide project portfolio consisting of European and national projects.
Forum Virium Helsinki’s mission is to remove hinderance from digitalization and harmonization is one of our key tools for that. Harmonised Smart City APIs give companies and developers access to a host of resources and information. The cities function as a test environment and market for new services utilising open data.
Standardization of APIs can bring global access to datasets, ensuring easy scalability of applications and ease creation of a global API ecosystem. While Smart cities start deploying internet of things solutions, they face the demand for harmonization also in the device side.
Harmonization of CitySDK and 6Aika APIs
The work on harmonised APIs started in Forum Virium Helsinki in 2012 with the CitySDK project and continued with the 6Aika Open Data and APIs spearhead project, a part of the Six City Strategy. In the project the six largest Finnish cities open up their data and APIs to enable new business. Forum Virium Helsinki has been leader of the harmonization work in both projects.
The following APIs were harmonised in these two projects: Issue reporting API, Linked events API, Open decision API, Resource reservation API, Linked data API and Tourism API. More information on each of the APIs: citysdk.eu.
The best practices, recommendations and lessons learned of the harmonization work have been collected:
- Cookbooks for Harmonised Smart City API
- Open API recommendations for Cities
Digital single market for IoT-enabled urban services with harmonization
To ensure larger market for IoT devices and data collection solutions, Forum Virium Helsinki works on projects like SynchroniCity and mySMARTLife. SynchroniCity brings cities together to share best practices on IoT API definitions, strategy papers, guidelines and successful use cases. The aim is to advance the digital single market for Internet of Things enabled services.
In mySMARTLife project seven countries are collaborating to make sustainable cities with smart people and smart economy a reality. The project activities span over several aspects of urban development while leveraging IoT-enabled systems and open data. The data collected will be used to make new open data sets and to improve data availability for developers. The project aims at harmonizing this newly produced data to create new business opportunities around sustainability.
Leveraging international networks
Cities and businesses around the world can benefit from services built together on shared platforms. Forum Virium Helsinki aims for harmonization of data and APIs through de facto standards where a convention has gained a dominant position by wide acceptance in the field.
To do this Forum Virium Helsinki collaborated with international organisations like OASC, ENOLL and most recently with EIP-SCC. The European Commission has launched the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP SCC) to accelerate the replication of Smart Cities solutions. Forum Virium Helsinki has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on interoperable urban platforms to stimulate the market for those platforms.