APIs are the foundation on which the digital services of the future will be built. Six largest cities in Finland have opened up their data and interfaces since 2014. The cities’ experiences in opening up data and accelerating data-driven business have been collected in a series of brochures.
APIs make data easier to use and increase its liquidity. They allow data to be utilised regardless of the technologies that back-end systems are based on. But when are APIs needed, what are the key points to consider and what are the best practices? How can cities help companies utilise open data in their business operations?
Companies and cities as utilizers of open data
For companies, the brochures provide a comprehensive look at the harmonised APIs that cities have opened up. In addition to this, the brochures describe what APIs can be used for and what you should take into consideration when creating your own APIs.
For cities, the brochures provide concrete technical advice and the best practices for creating open APIs. The need for digital services is constantly growing in the public sector, as a result of which cities are increasingly turning to various IT solutions for their management and development needs. Open data and APIs can help cities develop their own internal processes as well as achieve cost savings.
“APIs, such as event information API Linked Events, have found their place as the basis for city services as well as a part of different businesses. By harmonising city APIs, we are building a market for business solutions. At the same time cities and citizen get better services”, comments IoT Program Director Hanna Niemi-Hugaerts from Forum Virium Helsinki.
The largest cities in Finland (Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Turku, Tampere and Oulu) are a part of Finnish Six City Strategy. The cities are accelerating business activities built upon open data and APIs in collaboration with businesses. When several cities provide APIs based on the same specifications, an application or service created for one city is easy to extend to other cities, expanding the market and making it more attractive in the process.
The 6Aika Open Data and Interfaces Spearhead Project aims to bring the opening of data as part of the cities’ normal operations and help the cities facilitate the creation of data-based services and business. The project is part of the Six City Strategy (6Aika), under which the six largest cities in Finland work together to develop better and smarter cities. www.databusiness.fi