ETSI Sets Specs for Smart City Data Sharing
Thursday, January 24, 2019 | Comments

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) Industry Specification Group for cross-cutting Context Information Management (ISG CIM) released its main specification GS CIM 009 for NGSI-LD application programming interface (API), targeting smart city applications and government services.

The release is the culmination of two years of work, including industry feedback on the preliminary release made in April 2018. The name NGSI-LD refers to early work of the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) in defining high-level NGSI interfaces as well as advances from the linked data community.

A significant amount of the data collected never gets leveraged because of the challenges in interpreting data models and API standards for using the data across platforms. NGSI-LD leverages the experiences of the developer community associated with a large number of FIWARE NGSIv2 projects, along with the linked data communities, targeting both as natural early adopters of this new ETSI specification.

The NGSI-LD API specification builds on widespread data models of graph databases, known as Property Graphs, so that people, city boundaries, buildings, rooms, cars and equipment can be readily referenced and described, together with their relationships. Previously, the typical smart city applications such as smart parking could direct drivers to a parking lot with available parking slots, but the relationships such as “car X belongs to hospital X” and “hospital-X vehicles may use emergency services parking” are only recorded using some proprietary properties, which are hard to quickly share across new applications. NGSI-LD is designed to allow cross-domain sharing and to facilitate restrictions based on privacy, security or licensing concerns.

"Smart cities will be the first ones to benefit from all this work, as the NGSI-LD API is used to glue together existing databases across the many city services for citizens," said Lindsay Frost, chairman of ETSI ISG CIM. “The NGSI-LD has already been referenced by many EC research and innovation programs, such as EIP-SCC-01 Lighthouse and the SynchroniCity project. New use cases in smart agriculture and smart industry are under development.”

The new specification defines a simple way to send or request data, using a serialization format (JSON-LD) that is familiar to many developers so that rapid adoption is facilitated. Data and its context, such as the meaning, relationships, source or licensing of that data, are transmitted together. The approach can directly re-use work on matching terminology for things and services, which is ongoing in multinational collaboration with many standards organizations. Interworking of NGSI-LD with the existing oneM2M platform and standards is already partially possible and will be refined further in future releases.

"As city representatives, we will have the opportunity to experiment with this new NGSI-LD very soon in Bordeaux,” said Christophe Colinet, vice chair of ETSI ISG CIM and smart city projects leader in Bordeaux. “Thanks to the open call launched in the framework of the H2020 Synchronicity Large Scale Pilot, we will provide data access to local startups. It will be the first implementation of NGSI-LD together with a oneM2M-compliant smart city architecture."

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On 1/30/19, Leon van der Linde said:
I wonder why the dung beetles cannot come down from their dung thrones and design a single protocol for everything from the start. Then they don't need to connect cross platforms everytime somebody wants to bring a new function in. They need to try and patch one thing to another. Is it so bad to not have your own little proprietary software but to fit in with the bigger picture? At the end of the day you again have all these little patchy systems.
Just wondering why you need to re-invent the wheel just so you can have your own little dung beetle throne.


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