What is RTOD and why does it help cities to be smarter

In the era of data, where everything tends to open up, we continue to find ourselves challenged, making the information that is being produced on a daily basis be useful for improving the citizen’s life. In this article we tell you how RTOD (Real Time Open Data) helps cities to be smarter and with that it influences positively in the life of the inhabitants.

We are immersed in the era of data. We are constantly producing data, through our phone, when we use our card, or even when we listen to music.

Cities are the great producers of data of very different type. These data, which can be public or private, are collected through different systems, one of the main ones are  sensors, which are distributed in the streets – lamppost, traffic lights, entrances to the metro, Air quality meters etc – and then they go through the departments responsible for guarding, monitoring and analyzing them.

These data are not open yet, what is published are usually statistics and not the original data. Therefore, the usability decreases.

The volume of information is such that processing them can become a challenge and in certain environments, when it reaches the citizen the information is already obsolete.

Currently, we are in a moment where the opening of public data prevails, where there is a tendency to transparency, however, not all the data that are made public are open nor all the data open are public.

So, as we told you in this post:  The 8 principles of Open Data ,  one of the main requirements is that they are reusable. In other words, they can be used by third parties in an open way.

In fact, moving to the smart city revolves around obtaining valuable information just when it is needed, but the Data is not always available and, if it is, it is not always readily interpretable by the final user.

It is in this scenario where the real-time open data -RTOD- get importance, since they allow the information collected through the sensors, to feed in real time open data portals that show that information without filtering.

What is RTOD: a brief definition

RTOD – Real Time Open Data-, – is the name of a Viavansi middleware solution designed to be a unique point of consultation and information consumption for data that comes from different sources.

Access in real time is another of its advantages in order to collect data from different organizations, both public and private.

A scenario such as that described, where the amount of data generated is very high, entails a human cost to keep the open data catalogs updated. RTOD provides a set of drivers that automate these processes of data collection at configurable intervals freeing administrations to allocate resources to keep the information updated.

Smart OGoov

Smart OGoov originates of the close relationship between Open Data, Smart City and RTOD, achieving the integration of the latter with the FIWARE platform, allowing to expose the information of a Smart City, both real-time and historical.

Not surprisingly, open data is an essential goal for the development of Smart Cities and one of the key aspects of it is its use through a system that allows to develop applications in a collaborative context.

RTOD brings diversity at this point in obtaining the information since it allows obtaining the information through an interface in 9 different serializations.

It is giving the possibility to the users of the Smart Cities to consume the information in the context that best suits their application.

The goal is to be able to work in the best possible way in a collaborative environment, with the aim of converting the open data into information of different types for the achievement of the objectives in order to obtain a better arrangement, to be useful to the citizen and to contribute to the sustainability of cities.

Capture data in real time vs. other processes

When advancing in the acquisition of a smart city, real-time data collection is a qualitative leap to design applications oriented to an endless number of practical uses.

Without that the obtaining data volumes through planned processes (batch) stops making sense we should not rule out useful contexts for citizens such as historical information and even the step on the Big Data platform stage.

On the contrary, the existence of technologies for data collection in a planned manner together with those that allow real time is enriching, since it allows design solutions adapt to the needs of each project.

However, this does not mean that working with open data in the Smart City environment has great potential in real-time processing technologies.

The reason for this potential is found mainly in the difference that exist between the collection of data in a planned way vs. real-time data, since only with this it is possible to have updated data at the time, which is streamlined and improved Decision making at the management level.

Advantages of real-time data collection

The need to reduce latencies and minimize response time has in fact not only evolved to adapt to new business needs in the current digital environment, municipal management can also benefit from real-time data collection.

Apart from what is mentioned with latencies and response time, it is possible to satisfy the need for practically simultaneous results for decision making.

Thus, being able to have data in real time in applications through the RTOD solution allows a decision making that opens the door to an unprecedented possibility until now, which is key in an endless of situations related to the smart city.

Impact and applications for Smart City

Until now, real-time data processing was a technical problem because of its complexity and costly. Now, however, technological innovation has taken an important step forward, making it possible to integrate these capabilities into current solutions.

A possibility that RTOD moves to the environment of Open Data and, therefore, Smart City, opening a wide range of possibilities that, far from being over, is only in the making. In fact, the cities of the future also are, and for this reason we can expect a parallel development

As one of RTOD’s defining characteristics, the real time applied to intelligent cities allows to talk about new possibilities to solve problems with the efficiency demanded by the digital era, always within a scenario of sustainability such as the European policies of Horizon 2020.

Among other possible examples, thanks to the RTOD drivers, we could get updated information in real time through mobile applications that integrate the targeted technology.

In the field of urban mobility, it would be very useful to know the itineraries with less traffic congestion or, say, to know, which public car parking lots have free spaces and where they are.

Without losing time, money, and even nerves, looking for them from floor to floor, simply having the information in our terminal.

In this way, real-time information has positive repercussions on the timeliness of the data, for example, a space in a parking lot has value at the moment it is free … 5 minutes later the value would no longer be worth that information because it could have been occupied.

In addition to its practical applications for different types of users, in this sense, real time helps to increase the quality of the data of the open data portals and also the efficiency in its use, contributing to greater transparency and citizen participation, too.