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Managing innovation in Smart Cities with Open Data sensors

by Azahara 10/Apr/2017

There are numerous applications that use Open Data Sensors for Smart City, to make life easier for its inhabitants. The data generated by the city are one of its most valuable assets to design smart cities. The need for good management to get the most of its innovation from Open Data is essential for its achievement.

The digital transformation in which we are immersed, walks towards the advantage  of information that can provide the open data within the framework of Big Data or mass data, Internet of things (IoT) and, more specifically, the Internet of all (IoE ), Connecting sensors and smartphones, among other portable devices.

The objective is to obtain a fast analysis that allows to act quickly according to certain information that facilitate action recommendations. It is, in short, to connect people, processes, data and things to improve urban intelligence through the implementation from local government.


According to Jean Marc Lazard, co-founder and CEO of the OpenDataSoft portal,

An innovation model that seeks to take advantage of open data sensors must be based on five main strategies. 

The strategies are set out in OpenDataSoft’s “White Paper”, setting out the innovation model that seeks to take full advantage of the open data sensor network.

To do this, the strategic approach must be oriented in five points.

  1. Choose an appropriate technology that, on the other hand, does not have to be the most expensive or complex.
  2. Use pilot projects to guarantee a greater performance of these initiatives within Smart City.
  3. Collaborate with residents and other key actors in the ecosystem, as well as open up data exchange as the power of innovation.
  4. Treat data consistently to its valuable asset status.
  5. Have essential technologies to work with data from Open Data platforms. Otherwise, they will prevent transforming the data into intelligent information, so they will be a drag on the achievement of a Smart City  that lives up to its name.
Open Data Sensors for Smart City

Emphasis is placed on the importance of collaborating with residents and other key players in the ecosystem, as well as opening up data exchange as an engine of innovation.

Above all, there is the need for the platform to be natively designed in such a way as to generate real-time data flows accessible to different types of users, from citizens to Public Administrations personnel, for example.

And offer this access through APIs, the application programming interface that allows the exchange of data and services. It also highlights the importance of intuitive use and display of data and tools, even for non-technical users. A clear example is Urbo, Dashboard for Smart City developed together with Telefónica.


There are many innovative technologies that enable the digital transformation of the urban ecosystem, but in order to meet the challenges facing the city, solutions are needed based on very different types of resources, both human and technological. Likewise, it is also essential to have reference cases of success, as well as good practices, in addition to having a multidisciplinary approach, without forgetting, logically, the key role of public managers.

Innovation in Smart Cities with Open Data sensors covers many different fields, from open data, in many cases integrated, always depending on each project, or predictive analysis, to technology that is carried out through citizen participation.

Apart from the main typologies related to applications based on sensor, their integration, management and maintenance of network infrastructures, among other technological issues, the management of innovation in this field needs to have the concept of Open Data and its philosophy.

That is to say, it is about understandings which are the implications that underlie the technological development of the city, a tendency whose objective is to create value for the citizen and also helps to carry out the administrative tasks.

The philosophy is none other than making data available to society to achieve improvements in transparency to advance in the idea of an open government that encourages the intelligent management of resources.

At this point, we must think over Big Data and Open Data. According to David Newman, vice president of research at Gartner:

In the same way that Big Data allows you to discover unknown patterns and develop a better vision, Open Data is ideal for direct interactions with consumers, partners, suppliers or, in the urban area, also with the same citizens.

Thus, the Open Data refers to the data that manages the public administration usable by any citizen or company through its transformation into knowledge. In other words, the management of open data generated by sensors has great potential for reuse.

The purpose, therefore, is the conversion into new services that bring social benefits. Achieving it, however, is not easy. There is no doubt that, without forgetting the security challenges that this poses, the opening of sensors for IoT is a great step for the management of the intelligent city to reach its greatest potential, since we can combine more types of data from public management with others that are not.

Applications that integrate different sources of data emitted by sensors have great potential for the interaction between processes, things and people to generate useful information. Its applications for the construction of open integrated models are almost infinite.

Urbo, Dashboard for Smart City, developed by Telefónica, in addition to using private data, it was also based on the use of the open data obtained in the urban area through different sensors connected to the IoT.

Open Data Sensors for Smart City

Urbo, Dashboard for Smart City.

The information collected in real time by this dashboard for Smart City is processed for later visualization in a clear and simple way in order to be able to make better decisions at the citizen level as well as the public administration on matters of general interest such as traffic, waste management or, among others, air quality.

Definitely, digital transformation can have a tremendous impact in assisting cities in the face of the challenges posed by municipal policy in the social, environmental and economic areas. The best results are undoubtedly achieved when the technological solutions that present a good technical development follow a definition of the intelligent done by and for the community.

Once the idea is posed, the technological solution to it is the great challenge. But not all are obstacles, since we have at our disposal an endless data and technologies that can achieve unimaginable results. Not in vain, the concept of open city is a goal and also a starting point.

TAGSOpen DataSensorsSmart City

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