Smart Cities

Smart Cities

A lot of public decision are taken at the level of the city. Smart Cities have not been part of the GEOSS activities, albeit citizens can benefit from derived services. Purpose of this task is to promote the use of Earth observations in Smart Cities and to bring Smart City sensor reading into GEOSS (mostly in-situ), so that they can be used in combination with other data sets to make derived products, validate, calibrate or qualify other sources of data or build a rapid evaluation assessment of the situation in case of crisis situations.


In a sense, Smart City readings can be seen as a parallel to citizen science contributions, but having a better ‘quality label’ coming from an official authoritative and authenticated source of information.


Smart Cities share a lot of GEO Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), so they benefit from the Earth observation data and better understand how they contribute to the SDGs.


NextGEOSS maps the smart city KPI (ISO 37120) to the GEO SDG indicators, so that indicator information can be more exchanged.


The European Commission funds 10 Smart City Lighthouse projects (with both large and small cities across Europe) with which NextGEOSS promotes the use of Earth observation information as well as liaise with Smart City associations and consortia.

Quick Facts


Largest European cities


Smart Cities typically make time series data available, coming from a sensor installed across the city – or sensors installed on top of moving city vehicles (buses, maintenance trucks). This sensor information is not directly accessible, but are typically stored in ‘data lakes’ – virtual distributed databases. Information is made accessible through interoperable web services.


Earth observation has a big potential in Smart Cities projects – currently Smart Cities activities are mostly focuses on Internet of Things and existing city data sets. By bringing Earth observation information to Smart City projects, for example the Solar Potential Atlas, Smart Cities can inform their citizens on alternative energy sources such as solar panels or wind mills. Other sources include weather information, change detection and agriculture information.


Both citizens and city administration can benefit directly from the Earth observation information. In the example of the Solar Potential Atlas, citizens can determine themselves if having solar panels is worthwhile. City administration is able to make better-informed decisions by including Earth observation information, a data source that is largely unknown to city administrations.


The pilots promote the use fo Earth observation data/information in Smart City projects, but also reverse, promote the use of Smart City sensor information of Smart City data sets in the Earth observation community. Additionally, this NextGEOSS pilot maps the Smart City KPI (ISO 37120) to the GEO SDG indicators, so that indicator information can be more exchanged.


The resulting information products will be made available in the GCI (GEOSS).