FAQ

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Interactive Overview of the platformhttps://www.snap4city.org/download/video/Slide-4-3/index.html

How much cost Snap4City?

Snap4City is 100% open source. The table with licenses and the links to access at the source code on GITHUB is accessible from https://www.snap4city.org/drupal/node/7  (almost all is on https://github.com/disit )  So that, if you download and instal Snap4City or Km4City or a part of them, you do not have to pay .... you do not have to pay to get, instal and use our source code, you can make profit from those services as well. Documentation is also available on this portal, or on Km4City.org portal and/or on DISIT.org portal..... Please read the documentation of each tool and you fill find the documentation links, tool by tool. The solution is modular and capable do cover a wide spectrum of solutions, you may need only a part of it. We suggest you to register into the snap4city.org portal, to read a bit of documentation, to practice with the basic principles and once conquered the basic steps with the online documentation please return to us if needed.

Can Snap4City helps us in designing the smart city and services?

Yes, we can help you in the design of your smart city, in the process of data identification, etc. These activities have a cost for us and so we have to understand what you are requesting to us to provide you an offer. You can even ask to some other partner to do the same job.

Can Snap4City provides Appliance as well as ready to use Virtual Machines?

Yes, we can. The solution is modular and wide spectrum, you may need only a part of it. We suggest you to register into the snap4city.org portal to practice a bit with the basic principles and once conquered them basic steps with the online documentation please return to us if needed. You may discover that you need only a few VM/tools, or all for solving your problems. For supporting you in deep on your project, we have to sustain costs, so that we have to understand what you are requesting to us to provide you. You can even ask to some other partners of Snap4City or former Km4City to do the same job.

Can you explain the relationship between Snap4City and Km4City?

They are substantially two layers of the same environment, all 100% open source. Both of them have server and client applications but at different level and goals. See the architecture on the web slide https://www.snap4city.org/drupal/node/135     and https://www.snap4city.org/download/video/Slide-4-3/index.html
- Km4city is the model and engine for data model and smart city API
- snap4city all the rest of the tools

What software development environment do we need (i.e. Eclipse?)

For developing: Dashboards, IOT Applications, etc. all is done from the web site of Snap4City.
If you would like to rebuild you own version restarting from source code different development environment are needed since  the code is produced by using different programming languages. For example: PHP, JAVA; JavaScript, Python, etc. But this depend module by module.... We suggest you to register into the snap4city.org portal, to read a bit of documentation, to practice with the basic principles and once conquered the basic steps with the online documentation please return to us if needed.

The city of XXXX has 170+ open data sets and taking a look at them all but not all the needed data are there, thus we have to ask to provide additional data.

May be, it depends on the scenarios/services you would like to activate. We suggest you to start from the analysis of data you have and see what you can do with those that you have. Then identify something more according to your goals in terms of scenarios. We suggest you to follow the Innovatrix Model by IMEC as methodology. Once identified the target scenarios the data needed can be easily identified and may be recovered from multiple sources, at local, regional and national level.

A main issue is getting the data and understanding the required formats. What do you think about this?

Please take into account that the format is not a problem for Snap4City. With Snap4City any format and protocol can be used for data ingestion and communication. So that the formats neither the protocols are not something that would block you in using a data or another.  We suggest you just search for the protocol and format you have  to address into the search box of the Snap4city Portal and read the articles and real example in response. see https://www.snap4city.org/drupal/node/65 

How you went about collecting and/or developing data with the cities that are using Snap4City platform.

We typically start a dialogue to identify what they feel relevant. The most relevant issues are typically related to: mobility, transport, emergency, security, environment, waste collection optimisation, etc. We help them in identifying all the details and the process to ingest the data. A lot of ready to use ETL procedure/script are provided by Snap4City from which you can start with for ingesting your data into the Snap4City platform. They are also open source. We suggest to start from what they feel more relevant, and than to identify what is missing and help them on: creating data or finding them at national level, from local operators, in-house companies, etc.; changing reconfiguring what they have... for example the Wi-Fi network or other; collecting data from mobile Apps, etc.; installing new sensors; putting the final users and city stakeholder in conditions to create installs new sensors; creating a coworking lab, living lab for the city for producing data and services; etc. We have a large experience in supporting cities and local stakeholders in identifying the data sources, exploiting them in creating insights, in a few meetings and back office work, it can be worked out.

We are interested to use Km4City and Snap4City on our own server. I have looked at Snap4City GitHub, but I didn't see a documentation about the hardware and software requirements and about the procedure for the installation of the different components. Could you provide us more information about these points?

Please read the documentation of each tool and you fill find the documentation links, tool by tool. The documentation is on the portals according to the modules 
https://www.snap4city.org   https://www.km4city.org     https://www.disit.org    Some of the documentation is also replicated on Http://www.sii-mobility.org  There are also on this portal a number of documents explaining the deploy US10.    Using and Managing the Scalable Snap4City Infrastructure and management.  We suggest you to register into the snap4city.org portal, to read a bit of documentation, to practice with the basic principles and once conquered the basic issues with the online documentation please return to us if needed. https://www.snap4city.org/download/video/Slide-4-3/index.html

Which is the relationship from Snap4City and FiWare?

Snap4City is an official platform of FiWare. Snap4City is 100% open source free of charge and free of licenses now and forever. 
Snap4City is using FiWare and NGSI protocol for IOT, in addition Snap4City is compliant with a large number of protocols, more than 50. https://www.snap4city.org/drupal/node/65
Snap4City is also producing a number of FiWare NGSI devices: Snap4All IOT Button, Snap4City Arduino IOT device, IOT Edge Snap4City, LoraWAN Gateway IOT Edge, etc.
Snap4City is providing a larger number of open source tools that are not FiWare registered. And they can be used in connection with other FiWare tools are well.
See details about compliant / interoperability on https://www.snap4city.org/drupal/node/283

Who is using the platform now?

there are a number of cities in trial/deploy at the same time now with different levels of maturity, for most of them a new Organisation has been activated in the platform: Florence, Tuscany area with many cities, Prato city with two pilots, Pisa city, Garda Lake area, Sardegna region and Cagliari metropolitan area, Helsinki city, Antwerp city, etc...   (at 21-12-2018) Each user may be registered to only one Organisation at time. The registration at the Organisation is moderated since private data of the Organisation can be there and they may adopt different policies for data access, and user registration. On the other hand, you can register using DISIT Organisation to see the tools working on open data regarding Tuscany, many cities such as Firenze, Pisa, Lucca, Massa, Prato, Pistoia, Arezzo, Grosseto, Massa, etc. etc.

Which are the active usages/projects/trials/experiments?

Active projects are: (i) listed in the flyer (updated at 2018-October) you can download: https://www.snap4city.org/download/video/DEPLIANT_SNAP4CITY_FULL-OK.pdf
(ii) described a bit in the slide updated at 2018-12-21: https://www.snap4city.org/download/video/Slide-4-3/index.html  .
The active projects/trial/experiment/usage are both in the domains of Smart City, and Industry 4.0

Can I register to Multiple Organisation?

Each user may be registered to only one Organisation at time, you may do multiple registrations to different organisation by using different email addresses. The registration at the Organisation is moderated since the Organisations may load private data and tools, and thus may autonomously decide the policies to data access and thus to register. In any case, you can register to Snap4City by selecting DISIT Organisation to get access at the tools working on open data regarding Tuscany, many cities such as Firenze, Pisa, Lucca, Massa, Prato, Pistoia, Arezzo, Grosseto, Massa, etc. etc. 

I requested to be registered into a wrong organisation, may I change?

Yes it is possible to change. Please send an email to one person of the help deskhttps://www.snap4city.org/drupal/node/3 or by using the contact form: https://www.snap4city.org/drupal/contact 

I noticed that the platform has many functionalities that are not accessible for Level 0 users. How it is possible to pass at the next levels?

The users typically are registered as Manager/Level 0. They can pass at the next Levels only by conquering them by creating simple DashboardsIOT Applications, etc. The first Levels are still for  Managers. Level 5 can be reached only becoming an AreaManager.  The AreaManagers are the developers and/or contributors of the platform, and may have several benefits, including more power, data access, etc. etc.  The attribution of the AreaManger role is provided on the basis of the activity performed in passing from Level 0 to Level 4. Once arrived at Level 4 please request to pass at AreaManager by using the contact form accessible on https://www.snap4city.org/drupal/contact form.  The Organisations (cities, regions, university, research centers, etc.) can directly subscribe for their personnel a number of users with the role of AreaManager , Manager or even higher.

Which kind of benefit may have a city using the platform?

The benefits and advantages for a city can be several, from more sustainability, lower costs, higher awaness about how the city users are using the city, info mobility, smart parking, smart triage, traffic flow, origin destination matrices, analysis of the demand vs offer of mobility, traffic flow reconstruction, simple production of mobile applications, a large and powerful city Dashboards, etc. In addition, Snap4City fully supports the creation of a Living Lab for the organisation, to help their users and stack holders to work together around data, services, creating smarter services, organising campaign for city users engagement, exploiting the legacy services and sensor network, and data, etc. etc

How can I make business on Snap4City ?

You can! You can download any tools from GITHUB and instal on your premise and start any business you like. You do not have to pay us.

Who is governing Snap4City? How is possible to contribute?

Snap4City started since Km4City former tool. A number of partners and companies have developed tools and processes. All those that have been accepted in the platform and are Open Source are posted on the GITHUB/DISIT. The main partners are those of Snap4City: UNIFI, UNIMI and Snap SRL, Effective Knowledge, plus also former partner of Sii-Mobility for some aspects of Km4City. The whole activity is coordinated by DISIT Lab, a not for profit research lab (which is in place since 1994) of the University of Florence which is in place since 1300. The rules for contributing to Snap4City are very simple. One can contribute with:

  • a new tool and the new tool can be integrated if it respects rules regarding: quality of the code, usability, interoperability with the rest of the platform, security, GDPR compliance, scalability, robustness, documentation in terms of test cases, responsiveness, etc. You can propose a tool as External Service and in that case the requirements are strongly relaxed. Tools providing functionalities which are already present in other tools of the resent version can be also accepted. 
  • new functionalities improving the present tools, for example starting from the source code on GitHUB and working on the source code. The improved version and new features can be proposed by posting them on Github as branches and presenting them via email snap4city@disit.org with a short document, slide and the possibility of testing it from some place. 
  • bug solving can proposed by proposed by posting them on Github as branches and presenting them via email snap4city@disit.org with a short note on the bug solved. 
  • dashboards, iot Applications, ETL, data analytics, etc. can be freely proposed and shared on both GITBHUB/DISIT and Resource Manager.

How difficult is to add one more protocol?

Any kind of user can add a new protocol by adding a new Node/Block on NodeRED (IOT Application). This will allow to send the data on Dashboards. Please note that NodeRED library provide a very wide collection of nodes covering any kind of protocols. A large community of developers is also active to create other protocols as soon as they are proposed on the market. The collected data by using Node-RED/IOT App can be saved by the IOT App into the MyKPI Data of the user creating a personal data shadow. And thus the data can be also delegated in access to other users, groups, Organisations or made public.
If the new protocol to be added has to collect data for all the users, so that at level of city, the solutions can be performed by using Node-RED as IOT Application and making them public, or by creating a new ETL Process to be scheduled on DISCES. ETL processes can cope with PULL protocols, for historical data, and not for real time data in push, which can be treated only by using Node-RED
If the new protocol data need to be collected for all users creating a shadow independent, it can be done by using Node-RED again, or creating a new process in NIFI. The back office NIFI in Snap4City is presently subscribed to all brokers creating automatically the shadow of data, and being more resilient with respect to Node-RED IOT Applications

Bidirectional Connections, back and forward, sensors and actuators?

In Snap4City bidirectional connetction in real time, event driven are possible and natural. The solution allows to receive from IOT data driven in push and the processes in Snap4City are ready to react at the messages arriving in the platform, with IOT Applications for example. Moreover, the IOT Applications, as well as the Dashbboards can directly send messages to the IOT devices and other Dashboards and IOT App as well creating actions, virtual actuators in the network. This means that the connections: IOT Device <--> IOT DeviceIOT Device <--> Dashboards, IOT Device <--> IOT Applications <--> Dashboards and their combinations are all possible with real time, event driven messages, and depending on the protocol also by using protected end-to-end secured encrypted autheticated communications.  For "Back and Forward" we indend exactly the receiving of messages from the back and the forward of them into the backoffice. 

Which is the best method to include/embed a Map into a Dashboard?

In Snap4City there are many solutions to create a Dashboard including a MAP. See the several examples in the list of Public Dashboards. They can be realized, the simplest to the most complex, by using:

How can I add or update Node-RED blocks/nodes into my IOT Applications on Snap4City?

See the several packages of Snap4City MicroServices in the BASIC and ADVANCED libraries that you have into BASIC and ADVANCED IOT Applications on cloud or you can download and install from JS Foundation Library of Node-RED. It is possible to add from your self new nodes into your IOT Application on cloud. If you encouter problems to update, install/add more Node/Blocks to your IOT Applications on Snap4CIty please contact US via:  https://www.snap4city.org/drupal/contact communicating us the name of IOT App and your nickname on Snap4City. 

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