BSI to set data standards for smart cities

e-Standards Committee begins work programme to harness the internet of things

Creative and Smart CitiesThe British Standards Institute (BSI) has kicked off a programme to develop data standards for smart cities.

It follows the development of the PAS 182 data concept model for smart cities, and will focus on developing more detailed standards around how data from the internet of things could be used to develop smart cities.

Programme coordinator Saviour Alfino said it has held its first meeting on the issue, and aims to produce a report by the summer as a step towards developing the standards.

"We are trying to provide some clarity around the landscape like what types of data people use and how they use it, and it might relate to open data," he said. "We are scoping things at the moment."

He said it is too early to set a date by which the standards could be available, but that it is unlikely to be before next year.

Jacqui Taylor, a member of the committee and chief executive of data consultancy Flying Binary, said the priorities are to establish what standards are needed.

Different data approaches

"That should take us into embracing the internet of things for smart cities," she said. "You need different approaches to the data from the internet of things, not just because of the volume but its velocity, and we'll look at that for the standards."

Initial research meetings have taken place, but Taylor said the formal meeting will set the work agenda, and that she hopes it will deliver some significant results within a year.

"It's something the BSI is well placed to do as it has people around who are delivering these things to the private sector now," she said.

The BSI has been commissioned by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to develop a standards strategy for smart cities, aimed at supporting their development and managing any risks. In August 2014 it published The Role of Standards in Smart Cities, and launched PAS 182, the data concept model, in October. The latter was developed by a number of stakeholder groups overseen by a BSI steering committee.

Among the data risks highlighted in the document were the familiar concerns over information security, data protection and privacy, along with the possible failure of critical points of the data infrastructure, and excluding people who cannot access digital services.

Image: Creative and Smart City, Maurizio Carta, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.