The next phase of Smart Cities implementations should focus on data empowerment in order to harness the maximum value from the enormous data cities generate. The current Smart City implementations are unable to satisfy this need efficiently, due to the proprietary and ad-hoc nature of the interfaces and their implementations. Hence it is difficult to develop next generation AI/ML based applications for providing new solutions and services at scale, in the current framework. The India Data Urban Exchange (IUDX) project, supported by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India, aims to address this gap by creating a reference architecture and technical specifications for interconnecting various IT systems of different government departments as well as external organizations.
The data exchange will provide two key services:
- A catalogue service which will host a catalogue of meta-information about the various data sets, with information about the custodian of the data, data model for the data, the API endpoints, API methods etc.
- A consent service that will enable a data custodian (one who is responsible for the data to regulate access to their data sets. Security and privacy will be incorporated by design in this architecture. No data will flow through the data exchange – rather it will only facilitate data flows between a data repository and a data consumer. IUDX is being developed to simplify the life of the data custodian) as well as the application developer.
IUDX will enable new applications to emerge, that can take advantage of data from different IT systems, to provide novel services. For example, a Women’s Safety Index will calculate the live safety index of any street, combining data from smart streetlights, video analytics from traffic cameras, data from police databases along with analysis of land use. Such an index can be used by trip planning apps to allow for determining safe routes or used by city or police to plan patrol routes.
By defining the reference architecture and specifying the interfaces and data models, IUDX will enable a whole new ecosystem of application developers to provide new, data driven, solutions and services. Additionally, adopting IUDX nationally will enable economies of scale for the developers and will allow same applications to run across the country. For data custodians IUDX will allow a simple way to expose, give consent, audit and track their data usage.