Smart City Solutions and the Potential of Using Web APIs: End-User and Technical Perspectives

Smart City Solutions and the Potential of Using Web APIs: End-User and Technical Perspectives

Ante Strize (PricewaterhouseCoopers, Croatia), Mario Jadrić (University of Split, Croatia) and Maja Ćukušić (University of Split, Croatia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1196-1.ch003

Abstract

This chapter presents the advantages of using APIs in the context of Smart City solutions and describes relevant successful practices. As there is still some uncertainty and the fear of compromising the security of data in these types of scenarios, most cities have just started using web APIs indicating that there are still opportunities for further enhancements. Different views on Smart City solutions result in different priorities and assumptions, so depending on the role, it is possible to differentiate between the programmer's (technical) and customer/citizen's perspective. The research was conducted with two groups of respondents: with end-users and programmers. The purpose of the survey was to find out the preferences and characteristics that potential users are looking for from Smart City solutions, while the aim of conducted interviews with programmers was to explore their attitudes about using web APIs in Smart City solutions.
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Approaches And Perspectives In Development Of Smart City Solutions

Smart City solutions can be implemented in a number of ways, differing in the perspective of the stakeholder who describes the concept. Two opposite concepts (top-down and bottom-up) are explained along with the third one, representing their combination (Walravens, 2014).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Smart City: A city is considered smart if it has at least one running initiative targeting one of the six key areas (Smart Governance, Smart Economy, Smart Mobility, Smart Environment, Smart People, Smart Living).

Open Source Software: A model of software licensing whereby access to the source code is without limitations, including the right to modify it by users. The costs of its deployment are lower than for proprietary software and due to the culture of collaborative development, the level of customization and quality is usually high.

Open Innovation: A paradigm acknowledging and making use of in-house ideas as well as innovations from other businesses and the wider public to enable the flow of external knowledge into the organization which turns into projects in co-operation with external partners.

Quadruple Helix: A model that emphasizes the interaction between four kinds of actors (Academia, Industry, State, and Media/Society) in the innovation-related processes.

Application Programming Interface (API): A set of definitions that enable reuse of software code to control and enable access to hardware and software resources; in particular, a clearly defined method for one software program to interact with the other.

Smart City Development Approach: Ranging from the public funding approach (also known as a top-down approach) to the market-oriented approach (also known as a bottom-up approach), city managers strategize in selecting the optimal and, frequently, a hybrid approach to suit the smart city context.

Web Service: A program whose interface and connectivity can be defined and described in a machine-processable format usually specified in Web Service Description Language. All web services are APIs. Advantages of using web services are interoperability, usability, reusability, deployability, and cost.

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