Click here to get the FAQ on IOT staff
Click here to get the FAQ on Snap4City Installation from VM, Dockers and Source Code
Below, FAQ for general questions:
How can I contact Snap4City?
How can i test it ?
Registration on Snap4City is free, each user may be registered/login to only one Organisation at time, you may do multiple registrations to different organisation by using different email addresses, multiple logins. The registration at the Organisation may be moderated since the Organisations may load private data and tools, and thus may autonomously decide the policies to data access and thus to register.
FOR TESTING we suggest you to 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.
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 install Snap4City or Km4City or a part of them, you do not have to pay .... you do not have to pay to get, install and use Snap4City 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 to 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 the documentation, to practice with the basic principles and once conquered the basic steps with the online documentation and platform please return to us if needed. In any way, you can contact us to request an offer on our additional services. The platform can be also installed by using Dockers and/or Virtual Machine Appliances that you find on https://www.snap4city.org/471
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. Snap4City has a consolidated methodology for setting un smart cities exploiting what you have in place and leveraging the services, please see training courses to have an idea: https://www.snap4city.org/501
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 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 can be done from the web site of Snap4City, you do not need to install the development environment for creating dashboards and IOT applications, etc.
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. Snap4City has a consolidated methodology for setting un smart cities exploiting what you have in place and leveraging the services, please see training courses to have an idea: https://www.snap4city.org/501
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/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. Snap4City has a consolidated methodology for setting un smart cities exploiting what you have in place and leveraging the services, please see training courses to have an idea: https://www.snap4city.org/501
Which is the relationship from Snap4City and FiWare?
See this web page: https://www.snap4city.org/467
Snap4City is an official platform of FiWare. Snap4City is 100% open source free of charge and free of licenses now and forever. The platform can be also installed by using Dockers and/or Virtual Machine Appliances that you find on https://www.snap4city.org/471
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.
Snap4City has produced a mutual authentication model and secure communication compliant with NGSI and IOT Orion Broker.
See details about compliant / interoperability on https://www.snap4city.org/drupal/node/283
Snap4City is also complient with a large number of protocols, and being modular can exploit and be integrated with your legacy systems.
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, Lonato Del Garda, Garda Lake area, Sardegna region and Cagliari metropolitan area, Helsinki city, Antwerp city, Modena, Santiago de compostela in Spain, etc... (at 20-10-2019). 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.
in addition there are a number of Industry IOT Installations on premise of companies.
Which are the active usages/projects/trials/experiments?
See the flyer 2019: https://www.snap4city.org/download/video/barc19/DPL_SNAP4CITY_2019-FULL.pdf
see the list of Scenarious: https://www.snap4city.org/4
Active (2018) 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/login to only one Organisation at time, you may do multiple registrations to different organisation by using different email addresses, multiple logins. The registration at the Organisation may be 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?
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 Dashboards, IOT 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 them on your premise and start any business you like. You do not have to pay us. The platform can be also installed by using Dockers and/or Virtual Machine Appliances that you find on https://www.snap4city.org/471
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, so that you can contribute directly on GITHUB or contacting us as you like. The main partners are those of Snap4City: UNIFI, UNIMI and Snap SRL, Effective Knowledge, plus also former partners 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 email@example.com with a short document, slide and the possibility of testing them from some place.
- bug solving can proposed by proposed by posting them on Github as branches and presenting them via email firstname.lastname@example.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 Device, IOT 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 business model of Snap4City?
Snap4City sustain selling services over the platform. The platform itself is a commodity, and services are:
- consultancy on setting up the smart city, data discoverying and aggregation, data identification, living lab set up, living lab managment, data agreement establishing, GDPR, etc.
- consultancy on technical aspects of smart city design of the infrastructure, technical integration with your legacy solution, etc.
- customization of the platform with new module and plgins, that in principle will be released open source (or of your ownership depending)
- customization of the platform with changes on the code that will be released open source according to the licence model of the tool
- smart city as a service (see also EOSC market place in which Snap4City is listed): hosting data, providing services, etc. and the above points integrated
- installation of the platform on your premise, or on your indicated public cloud
- maintenance of an installed Snap4City solution, on our cloud, on any cloud, on your premise
- training your operative personnel for using the platform, creating dashboards, IOT Applications, installing the platform, etc. (this can be personalized or comulated in training days and week with other customers), it can be on our location or on your premise
- help desk support on all the above aspects over an exceding amount of hours that are free of charge.
- developing data analytics over those that are freely provided, and/or setting up data analytics that need learning phases on your premise
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:
- the Wizard during the Dashboard creation selecting a widget which includes a map and related High Level Types such as: POI, MyKPI Data, Sensors, etc.
- an ExternalService embedding inside an Iframe Widget maps such as: ServiceMap, GoogleMap, OSM, etc., and any third party map
- MultiData Map by creating a Custom Dashboard. Those maps can visualize at the same time, traffic flow, heatmaps, POI, Sensors, paths, etc.
- MicroApplications with maps, they can be embedded into Dashboards as ExternalServices, and they may include typically maps and their associated functionalities
- IOT Application, using a Dashboard Widget Map (worldmap) or ExternalContent widget, and sending to it the services to be visualized, potentially also your personal MyPersonal Data, MyKPI Data, etc. for tracking fleets and personal positions
Is Snap4City compliant with ESRI, and GIS in general?
YES it is. It is fully interoperable with a large set of legacy solutions and protocols. See for description: TC10.20- The Snap4City solution is Interoperable
swee the following page for details about GIS vs Snap4City: https://www.snap4city.org/drupal/node/368
How can I have additional IOT Applications?
Typically, each user may acitvate a limited number of IOT Applications according to its role and organization. Please note that, many users activate an IOT Application for each flow, while it should be noticed that each IOT Application may have multiple concurrent task flow inside. For each Flow page into an IOT Application page and editor, one can have multple flows. Moreover, each IOT Application may include inside multiple flow (see the + on the right upper corner). All these flows are executed concurrently and thus are independent thread of execution. You may need more IOT Application only when you finisched the memory or CPU of all your IOT Applications.
For SLA, Service Level Agreement?
From where can i download full snap4City source code so that i can customize it?
according to the modules you can get the source code from github/disit: https://github.com/disit
i suggest start from: https://www.snap4city.org/7
The platform can be also installed by using Dockers and/or Virtual Machine Appliances that you find on https://www.snap4city.org/471
from the VM installed you can update the source code directly from GitHub.
How can we get access of higher level role above AreaManager so that we can access or validate all available features of Snap4City ? for example to explore features for roles as "tooladmin/rootadmin"?
Those roles for the organizations in place are actual and thus on live organizations present privacy and security issues in place, your cannot access to them. Any way, you can test these features in two manners:
- (1) asking us to give you a demonstration on specific aspects,
- (2) download and install on your premise snap4city in VM or Docker and testing in local as in small case. In any way, to test those features in real cases, the only solution is to book us for a demonstration, this is particularly true for RootAdmin which is a multi organization role and so a complete installation on multiple cities is needed to see the capabilities.
Which languages are supported?
Snap4City supports on final users mobile Apps, web app and MicroApplications different languages: German, France, Italian, English, Finnish, Spanish.
On the development environment the dominant language is English for all the user interface, training, and technical documentation.
Some training has been also provided in Italian. Other languages can be addressed on demand.
What you do on traffic management ?
we have in place:
- traffic flow sensors collection and management, there are several examples on that
- real time collection of data … from sensors (spire and tv cam, also from gates, etc.)
- traffic flow sensor data predictions (this part is presently not visible since the values are estimated for the traffic flow reconstruction process only, so far) It may be visible as well when needed.
- These are real time data collection, monitoring, historical and real time predictions
- traffic flow reconstruction, from sensors data to full traffic flow network estimation and prediction of traffic flow density
- These are real time estimations and real time rendering of data regarding flows
- Traffic flow in/out of the city, taking into account the global number of means entering and exiting from the city over the major connections/roads of different kind:
- Once you have traffic flow reconstruction it is possible to compute prediction on NOX and airquality
- Having the data regarding the vehicles plate numbers we have tools for:
- Trajectory reconstruction
- Origin destination computation and show multi grid
- Dynamic routing is a feature available presently on the basis of defined scenarios as barriers and areas and it is adopted into the Florence Smart City Control Room
we are also developing an analyzer that would produce the analysis of the offer of Mobility (public transport means scheduled and monitored), versus the (demand of transport in terms of monitoring, and census population) so that to be capable to tell at the city what they should do for restructuring the public transport network and what could happen if they perform some changes...https://www.snap4city.org/drupal/node/554
What about Integrated Transit Management System (Vehicle locations) ?
we are capable to track vehicles
- for Vehicle locations: with some OBU trackers (may be cellular connection) and ODB2 devices (via BT via mobile phone or cellular connection: Trajectories of vehicles or bikes, or mobile phone can be collected via mobile app (tablets on busses for example) or by using BT. registered, shown, and also busses monitored.
- bus network can be monitored for assessing quality of transportation, by estimating mean delay time to arrival at busstops: I authorized Priya user of NEC India to see the private dashboard of Florence City on this regard:
- routing tools that allow to compute routing (and multimodal routing) taking into account multiple stops
- what if analysis tool exploiting routing:
- Presently we are working also on a more powerful tool for whatif analysis connected to routing, the new version will take into account a larger set of possible kinds of constraints...on the roads.
- On the basis of the Scheduled plan for rtasnport system we have algorithms for computing the probable interpolated position so that if you have real time
- It can be tested from https://servicemap.snap4city.org/
- From the menu on the left side up: “position of the selected busses”
What about control flow and alerting ?
The best solution for workflow is to use the IOT Applications to define the actions on the basis of the events. The single workflow can be used to fire at certain events and to send messages towards any kind of system:
- Dashboard blinking and alerting, etc.
- Email, facebook, telegram, etc.
- Ticket management system for maintenance: OpenMaint (that we are used to use) or others
The Workflow for ticketing management is managed inside the Maintenance Tool, we use:
- Changing color on buttons
- Pop ups
- Changing views on dashboards
- Scrolling list of events,
- may send the email on the basis of some thresholds defined in the “more options” of each single widget of each dashboard. The notifications can be sent to groups of users using a template, etc..:
- the thresholds are also shown on the widget with some color and blinking. Etc. on the graphs etc. etc.
- See documentation on https://www.snap4city.org/drupal/node/140
- it works well on solution stand alone since the notificator it is not fully extended on multitenacy ? multi user solution
What about the role and control management, RBAC on snap4city elements?
Presently we have 4 roles codified:
- RootAdmin…. The “god” of the solution
- ToolAdmin some area tool manager
- AreaManager: that is the advanced developer: IOT App, Dashboards, but also IOT Devices, Models, etc.
- Manager: that is the final user with some develop capability also: IOT App, Dashboards, etc.
In the platform the LDAP allows RootAdmin to:
- define more roles, but they have to be enforced into the tools according to your needs.
- Restrict the access of some user to specific tools. For example one could create some ToolAdmin which are GOD on some specific tool and limited in others.
Each entity in the system has an OWNER (except the GOD that is the owner of all 😊 )
Each OWNER can:
- Delegate in access/view to its elements any other user of the same ORG (only the IOT App cannot be delegated in access) (delegation in edit does not exist, only the owner can edit and modify)
- Pass the ownership of its elements to any other user, losing any ownership forever
Collaborative work can be done only on the same account, entering with the same credentials of from RootAdmin an any other user, for maintenance and training and support.
How can I do with workflow for management smart city processes?
the integration of Snap4city with workflow management system for managing tickets for maintenance of eventually for rescue teams, etc. can be easily performed by defining the interaction on Dashboards and the flows via the IOT Applications. The main functionalities are those that allow to recover from the IOT App: (i) list of active processes, (ii) access to the status of a process, (iii) access to the possible next states of a process, (iv) change of the sttus or send of a message to change it, (v) reception of an event that the status has been changed for a given process. see HOW TO: manage maintenance and accidents workflows
So that the integration of Snap4City with workflow management system can be very simple or sophisticated depending on your applications.
we suggest you to use the OpenMaint solution which is open source. but Snap4City can be easily integrated to any other solutions.
Typically the solutions for workflow management can produce reports regarding any elements of the workflow. The Workflow can be customized as well as the reports. Examplex can be: incidents and events occurrence, taking in charge of them, planning the actions, acquisition of the action from a team, final actions performed and closure of the event.
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