Towards Establishing Cross-Platform Interoperability for Sensors in Smart Cities

Sensors (Basel). 2019 Jan 29;19(3):562. doi: 10.3390/s19030562.


Typically, smart city projects involve complex distributed systems having multiple stakeholders and diverse applications. These applications involve a multitude of sensor and IoT platforms for managing different types of timeseries observations. In many scenarios, timeseries data is the result of specific simulations and is stored in databases and even simple files. To make well-informed decisions, it is essential to have a proper data integration strategy, which must allow working with heterogeneous data sources and platforms in interoperable ways. In this paper, we present a new lightweight web service called InterSensor Service allowing to simply connect to multiple IoT platforms, simulation specific data, databases, and simple files and retrieving their observations without worrying about data storage and the multitude of different APIs. The service encodes these observations "on-the-fly" according to the standardized external interfaces such as the OGC Sensor Observation Service and OGC SensorThings API. In this way, the heterogeneous observations can be analyzed and visualized in a unified way. The service can be deployed not only by the users to connect to different sources but also by providers and stakeholders to simply add further interfaces to their platforms realizing interoperability according to international standards. We have developed a Java-based implementation of the InterSensor Service, which is being offered free as open source software. The service is already being used in smart city projects and one application for the district Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London is shown in this paper.

Keywords: OGC standards; internet of things; interoperability; sensor web enablement; sensors; smart cities.