The vast amount of data produced by cities is being opened up for companies and the talented developer community to use, bringing with it a world of opportunities – it can be used as raw material for data-based business and for developing smart applications and services that will immensely improve the quality of life in urban environments.
Harmonized application programming interfaces, or APIs, provide access to the cities’ data even if the background systems are vastly different. Harmonization opens up a world of opportunities for developing scalable smart applications and services that will improve the quality of life in urban environments.
The API harmonization work that started with the CitySDK project has been continued in Finland as part of the Six City Strategy (6Aika), a cooperation between the six largest cities in the country: Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Tampere, Turku and Oulu. The main target of the 6Aika Open Data and Interfaces Spearhead Project is to boost data driven business by harmonising APIs and datasets.
The Six Cities have focused on four APIs:
- Linked events API
- Issue reporting API (based on Open311 standard)
- Open decision API
- Resource reservation API
For more information, please have a look at the Smart City APIs Cook Book.
Opening up APIs can bring remarkable benefits for cities: they can improve their working processes and achieve cost savings. As enablers of data use, cities can also play an important role in developing wider, globally scalable ecosystem and create new ways of cooperation with developers and companies.
The Six Cities strongly believe in collaboration of cities, and thus they joined the Open and Agile Smart Cities network (OASC) in the first wave in 2015.