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The availability of widely adopted (de-facto standard) information models is key for creating a global digital single market of interoperable and replicable (portable) IoT-enabled smart solutions in multiple domains not only for smart cities but also for smart agrifood, smart utilities, smart industry, …). Such models provide an essential element in the common technical ground needed for standards-based open innovation and procurement.

Data Models play a crucial role because they define the harmonised representation formats and semantics that will be used by applications both to consume and to publish data.

The FIWARE Foundation and TM Forum are leading a joint collaboration program to support the adoption of a reference architecture and compatible common data models that underpin a digital market of interoperable and replicable smart solutions in multiple sectors, starting with smart cities.

The Reference Architecture and Data Models use the FIWARE NGSI API and TM Forum Open APIs for interoperability and scalability of smart solutions. The FIWARE Context Broker technology, implementing the FIWARE NGSI APIs (NGSI v2 and NGSI-LD), provides the basis for breaking information silos in organizations aiming at becoming smart. Actually, it enables a real-time (or close to real time, i.e., right-time) view and foundation for the development of governance systems at global organization level. Examples of such organizations include cities, factories, hospitals, airports, farms, etc.

Combined with TM Forum Open APIs, data publication platforms can support organizations to realise the potential of real-time (or right-time) open data, easing development of innovative solutions by third parties. In addition, organizations can evolve their current data sharing policies towards a vision which, shared with other organizations, brings support to a Data Economy. This way, the proposed Reference Architecture is ready to solve the needs of organizations today while future-proofing for tomorrow’s requirements.

This GitHub organization structure contains JSON Schemas and documentation on harmonized Data Models for different Smart Domains, starting with Smart Cities. The following repositories are available:

data-models repository which is an umbrella repository that contains all the Data Models from different verticals (e.g., Parking, Street lighting, etc.). This Repository does not admit Pull Requests.

For each Vertical there is a Repository containing the Data Models related to that vertical. These repositories do admit pull requests.

Front-runner Smart Cities program

Cities have a wealth of possible data sources, such as ticket sales on public transport, local tax information, police reports, local weather stations, waste management facilities and traffic information. Some now also have a wealth of information from photos and videos, where AI pattern recognition can be applied for improving traffic congestion and reducing crime.

In cities, internet of things (IoT) data is prevalent. Forrester Research predicts that IoT will become the backbone of customer value as it continues to grow. Early leaders in IoT are retailers who are using it to create intimate customer experience, with healthcare and supply chain not far behind. They are using IoT to connect with patients via wearable devices and track products from factory to floor.

According to IBM, 90% of the world’s data was generated in the past two years, and a recent study by IDC and EMC forecasts that by 2025 data will grow exponentially by 10 times to reach 163 zettabytes (trillion gigabytes). However, we still have a long way to go to harness the power of the data that is being generated. The IDC/EMC report found that only about 1% of data generated is utilized, processed and acted upon. One of the key barriers to utilizing data effectively is the inconsistency in the data models blocking the ease of integration of data.

Imagine what could happen if we were able to effectively leverage and manage more of this data at scale in smart cities. To achieve this, we need to break down silo’s of data, ensuring that artificial intelligence can be applied across aggregated data sets and to ensure that individual citizen experience can be optimized across different city services.

We need to move beyond the 1% to create cleaner data and leverage it to drive future decisions for cities, and this means learning much more about how citizens experience their cities. To achieve this, TM Forum and FIWARE launched the Front Runner Initiative, which seeks to harmonize data models across Smart Cities and with the Data Models of TM Forum which have been deployed globally.

By agreeing across different communities, the common definition of smart city data models, this will empower innovators and companies to develop solutions that adhere to this common definition and ultimately help enable interoperability of services.

It compiles the subjects of:


A repository for data models related to the Smart Cities Domain. Includes data models for Buildings, Parking, Urban Mobility & etc.






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