An open platform for the Smart City
The E-Government Institute of the Bern University of Applied Sciences has won an important EU- funded project. Together with partners in Europe and Japan a platform is being developed, on which open government data combined with the Internet of Things is provided to a variety of users.
The digital society is bringing about many changes, especially in the urban environment. To address these challenges and shape them in a positive way, the research project CPaaS.io (City Platform-as-a- Service – integrated and open) has started this July. This collaborative project between Europe and Japan aims to provide cities a cloud-based urban data infrastructure, which is an important foundation for the development towards a smart city. The platform links technologies like the Internet of Things, Big Data, and Cloud with Open Government Data (OGD) and Linked Open Data in order to enable a multitude of different applications.
The European coordinator, Prof. Haller from the Bern University of Applied Sciences who has many years of experience with Japan, gave the following simple example to explain the importance of his project:
“An ambulance carrying a patient needs to find a hospital with a specialist that is available as soon as possible: For this, static data – roadmaps, hospital information, etc – is required, but also real-time data, such as traffic information, which doctor is available, which hospital has free beds, the location of the ambulance, traffic-light information, etc. is necessary. This project can combine all the data for the benefit of the patient.”
He further explains: „The project contributes strongly to urban innovation and strengthens the attractiveness and competitiveness of the city. By providing open data, it possibly attracts additional businesses. And the platform empowers the individual citizen to gain control about his or her data and to define, who is allowed to use which data how.”
The practical relevance of the platform will be validated with cities that have already experience in the Open Data area. In Europe these are Amsterdam, Murcia and Zurich, and in Japan Sapporo, Tokyo and Yokosuka.
Additional partners in the project are in Europe AGT, NEC, Odin Solutions, The Things Network and the University of Surrey, and in Japan ACCESS Co., Microsoft Japan, Ubiquitous Computing Technology Corporation and the University of Tokyo.