Finnish Cities boost data driven business by opening up data and harmonising Smart City APIs

The six largest cities in Finland, also known as the Six Cities, have joined their forces to create smart digital services and to support development of data driven business. The vast amount of data produced by cities is being opened up for companies and the talented developer community to utilise.

The Six Cities harmonise application programming interfaces, or APIs, and datasets, that enable the scalability of applications built on a specific city API to other cities providing a harmonised API.

Harmonised APIs provide access to the cities’ data even if the background systems are vastly different. Harmonisation opens up a world of opportunities for developing scalable smart applications and services that will improve the quality of life in urban environments. The harmonisation work has been done in cooperation with companies, and there are already business cases utilising i.e. the Linked Events API.

The best practices and lessons learned in the API harmonisation work are collected in two brochures:

The Harmonized Smart City API Cook Book introduces to you the opportunities APIs offer for cities, developers and companies. It also gives concrete examples of the use of the current Smart City APIs created by the six largest cities in Finland in the Six City Strategy’sOpen Data and Interfaces project. Last part of the toolkit focuses on step-by-step guidance for starting your journey with Smart City or any other API. Get your Cook Book now.

Open API Recommendations for Cities describes the importance of APIs and the goals related to them from the cities’ perspective. The recommendations are intended as a general policy to be applied alongside the strategic policies, principles and guidelines that often guide ICT and service development in cities. Download Open API recomendations for cities.

Currently, the Six Cities are focused on four harmonised APIs:

Linked events API

Issue reporting API  (based on Open311 standard)

Open decision API

Resource reservation API