The Open City Data Platform (OCDP) solution uses open, non-proprietary application programming interfaces (APIs) and data formats, in order to maximise the interoperability between data and services.
Some early results of the project can be seen in a prototype project addressing GP resourcing issues by combining open data from multiple sources, and applying sophisticated modelling techniques. http://nquiringminds.com/gp-pressure/
Background to the Open City Data Platform
Data is the fuel on which future cities will run; a Connected Future City needs connected data. Behind this vision lies some major challenges.
- A city is not a single entity, it is a rich collaboration of local authorities, national government agencies, private companies and of course citizens. Moreover, even when we consider a local authority in isolation, increasingly it does not own the data; complex subcontracting relationships mean that connecting city data means connecting data across a complex web of organisations.
- The second challenge relates to security. Even if we restrict to ourselves to only Open Data, we cannot ignore security and privacy issues; even open data starts it’s journey as closed data. And Open Data is only one facet of the “Connected Data” journey. At an operational level, a functioning city must share constantly between different organisations and different departments, and the vast majority of this data is private.
- Finally we need to consider application of data. The evidence suggests the vogue for open data portals, that consider their job complete when data is uploaded to a website and are in serious danger of becoming data graveyards. A connected data strategy must consider the full data lifecycle; data needs to be turned into applications with demonstrable return on investment, if they are to succeed.
The Open City Data Platform Open source project address the issues of a Future City Connected Data Strategy head-on during Phase 2. Three critical innovations are needed to demonstrate bringing this vision to reality.
- Data Harvesters (getting data into the platform); a portal will be created to share open sourced tools for extracting and processing source data. The harvesters can come in three forms: data converters – for processing static data files; enterprise feeds – for extracting live data from operational systems; IOT Sensor adaptors.
- Trusted Data Exchange (managing data securely): a highly secure component is developed to allow different stakeholders from different organisations to share and collaborate on data in a trusted environment. This component is a critical part of even “Open Data” publication, and it helps clean and anonymise data before publication.
- City App Engine (turning data into applications): a highly innovative element that turns raw data and APIs into fully functional web sites and mobile applications. The proposed solution supports simple to use drag and drop GUI interfaces to democratise data access, for non-developers and developers alike, enhancing commercial adoption potential.
NquiringMinds core platform has been developed specifically with Internet of Things, and Security in mind. A secure platform that can ingest, open data, confidential data and IOT data streams in parallel, and has the built in capability to rapidly process and perform flexible analytics is precisely what is needed to realise the vision of a Smart City.