What is CitySDK?CitySDK

CitySDK is a set of API for accessing Open Data, provided by cities’ local governments, in the domains of Tourism, Participation and Mobility. This website provides information on the Tourism API and on how to make use of it, whether you are part of the city government or a developer looking to developed a tourism application.

A city is a complex system. Most local governments run sophisticated infrastructures for managing all the data required to run a city. This data is also very useful for citizens. Data may increase transparency, my help citizens perform a choice or can guide a tourist. Citizens appreciate and demand access to data. Governments have realized this and many have made large investments in applications to provide access to this data. However, local governments are not software houses, and are unable to keep up with innovation or even conceive all the applications that citizens would find useful.

On the other hand, we have developers. These are often more in tune with the market and have the skills, capacity and capital to invest in the creation of the apps that users require. However, they do not have access to the data, locked inside the governments’ IT infrastructure or the apps governments make available to citizens.

The Open Data movement is the answer to this mismatch between citizens needs and local governments inability to satisfy the demand for apps which make data accessible. By providing indiscriminate access to data, governments provide developers with the means necessary to create new and innovative applications, this meeting the requirements of citizens. If there is the need (market) for an app, developers will identify it and build the required app. Cities provide the data at much lower costs than it would cost them to provide even a small set of applications.

However, as each city provides its data in a different format, applications are not easily portable across cities. This increases development costs and reduces the potential market for each application. The CitySDK Tourism API addresses this problem for the domain of Tourism. By proposing a single API and data representation, the CitySDK Tourism API creates the conditions for a single worldwide market for applications. An application written to consume the CitySDK Tourism API will be portable across all the cities that provide this interface for their data.

Smart Tourism 

The Smart Tourism Lead pilot focuses on creating location-based mobile services for tourists. The ultimate goal is to create a European-wide market for tourism applications based on Open Data made available by public or private entities. Implemented in Lisbon, the services guide tourists to experience the city in a new way, suggesting interesting attractions, thematic walks, or other nearby services. The main output of the Tourism pilot is the final API to access Points of Interest (POI), Routes and Events information that, once deployed, will allow effortless transfer of applications among cities using CitySDK. The Lead Pilot API for Lisbon was published in early 2013 and several client apps for different use cases and different languages were produced to validate the API. In Lisbon, CitySDK will build up on existing open data initiatives, such as the Open Data Lx, which gives access nowadays to more than 300 POIs with relevant interest for tourism applications.

Resources citysdk-draw

API The key resources used in the CitySDK Tourism API are focused on the presented message formats:

  • Points of Interest – describes all the POIs available in a given city;
  • Events – description of all the events that are being or have been undertaken;
  • Routes – minimal description of a group of ordered POIs.

There is one additional resource which is the categories, which is used for the categorization of our key resources. With this resource the client can retrieve information based on a given category or categories.

Libraries Although you can access to the APIs directly we provide, in order to facilitate the access to our APIs, libraries in the following languages:

  • Java
  • JavaScript
  • PHP
  • Objective-C

Server Implementation We provide a server implementation, this implementation contains all the software modules such as the Data Adapters, the CitySDK Tourism engine and the CitySDK Tourism Service Provider. The platform’s database represents a relational database that contains all the platform’s touristic data, ready for serving the requests originated from the applications.

Directory Service The CitySDK Tourism API was designed taking into account a delegation model. The directory service is the root of all the CitySDK Tourism endpoints. At this point the directory service has the partners endpoints: Amsterdam, Lamia, Lisbon and Rome.


Cities and Regions:

  • Lisbon, Portugal (Lead Pilot)
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Helsinki, Finland
  • Lamia, Greece
  • Rome, Italy

Private companies and University:

  • Alfamicro, Portugal
  • Amsterdam University of Applied Science, Netherlands
  • CASPUR, Italy
  • Forum Virium Helsinki, Finland
  • Gnosis Computers, Greece
  • Instituto Superior Técnico, Portugal
  • ISA Intelligent Sensing Anywhere, Portugal
  • University of Tilburg, Netherlands
  • Waag Society, Netherlands


CitySDK is a 3.4 million Euro project, part funded by the European Commission. It is a Pilot Type B within the ICT Policy Support Programme of the Competitiveness and Framework Programme. It runs from January 2012-June 2014.

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