Snap4City: FIWARE powered smart app builder for sentient cities

Challenge & Context

Snap4City is a 100% open-source platform developed under the coordination of Distributed Systems and Internet Technologies (DISIT Lab) of the University of Florence, Italy. The platform has at present a wide range of activities in the smart city and IoT/IoE (Internet of Things/Internet of Everything) integrated domains: defining city strategies, control room, and computing key performance indicators which are used daily in both city and industry management.

Since 2018, Snap4City has incorporated Km4City, providing a number of real-time open-source solutions to support decision makers in cities and large industries to ground their daily operational actions on solid predictions, deductions and assessments. It provides a complete understanding of the context and its trends, receiving early warning, anomaly detections, and performing simulation and what-if analysis. This information is used to suggest strategic interventions to improve city services and general quality of life, in multiple domains (e.g Smart Cities and Smart Industry).


Snap4City platform is managing data, with on-cloud and/or on-premise solutions, of currently more than 40 cities/areas in countries like Italy, Spain, France, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Finland, Belgium, Greece, Croatia, Israel, Sweden.

Snap4City covers:

  • Mobility and transport (smart parking, traffic flow reconstruction, traffic flow prediction, offer vs demand of transportation analysis, vehicle tracking, routing, multimodal routing, smart biking, reducing traffic congestion, etc.). For example in the REPLICATE H2020 project for Florence, and in the cities of Pisa, Livorno, Modena, Santiago de Compostela, on TRAFAIR CEF; Pisa and Siena for smart biking with Sii-Mobility national smart city actions;
  • Energy (smart light, control room on energy production and recovering, charging stations); For example in REPLICATE for recharging stations, for CAPELON partner in Sweden for Smart Light;
  • Environment (monitoring, pollutant predictions, decarbonization, NOx prediction, NO2 KPI predictions, alerting, CO2 reduction, smart waste, ..). For example, in Florence, Pisa, Livorno for NOX/NO2 predictions, and general pollutant monitoring;
  • Industry 4.0, depuration plant, production plants (monitoring industry plant, control and optimization, digital twin), such as on ALTAIR chemical plant;
  • Governance control and KPI (people flow, tourism, POI, utilities, quality of life assessment and control, building automation, digital twin, sustainability, smart decision support). For example: in REPLICATE H2020 for Smart City Control Room of Florence, in Antwerp for monitoring people flows with PAXCounters, and in Dubrovnik, Valencia for monitoring people flow and tourism aspects with HeritData.

In this large range of solutions, Snap4City is compliant with more than 100 protocols and it is interoperable with GIS (Geographical Information Systems), CKAN and IoT Networks protocols (IOT protocols).

Figure 1 . Snap4City System Overview

The goal is to support cities and businesses to improve performance and reduce costs by connecting all management and control domains. To this end, Snap4City platform can rely on FIWARE Compliance and exploits FIWARE Context Broker with its NGSI-V1 and V2 protocols, supporting protected communications and multiple broker connections. The interoperability of FIWARE plus the flexibility and modularity of Snap4City together enable the creation of applications in a wide range of scenarios such as those mentioned above. Snap4City enables the creation of federations of Smart Cities via its Smart City API and NGSI-based solutions. All Snap4City APIs are accessible and well documented for developers, allowing customization. Thanks to FIWARE’s approach, the operating multi-tenant FIWARE Context Broker can feed data into Snap4City platform. To further support developers, Snap4City is supporting the concepts of living lab development and environment.

The Snap4City solution passed the PENtest and vulnerability test and has been proven to be GDPR compliant. With Snap4City, it is possible to create end-2-end event-driven secure applications with connections from devices to dashboards, including data processing, storage and data analytics. Details of the architecture have been published in peer reviewed top journals having IEEE Access. The solution is distributed entirely open source including the application layer, multitenancy aspects, assessment and auditing, resource management, etc.

The Snap4City solution can be installed on private and public clouds starting from an open source virtual machine, as well as from docker compose — all elements being licence free. It provides a number of configurations from small standalone to very large installations.

How it works

The Snap4City Dashboard Builder provides a huge amount of graphic rendering tools to show and play with a variety of complex data (e.g. maps, Orthomaps, tables, trends, heatmaps, traffic flows, typical trends, calendar, Kiviat, barseries, custom widgets, animations, scenarios, routing, buttons, 3D, synoptics, etc.). They are composed by means of the Wizard in a very simple and easy manner to create vertical solutions, along with complex applications with multiple dashboards and tools, up to complex control rooms as it has been installed e.g. in Florence for Smart City and in ALTAIR for Industry Plant. They realize event-driven solutions working in real time and provide interactive web tools and mobile Apps, for operators and final users. The Snap4City Dashboard Builder provides a large number of interactive features, joining 3D representation, Digital Twin representation and navigation, integration with workflow management systems for ticketing and management, synoptics for industrial monitoring and animations, etc., supporting protection and GDPR.

Figure 2 . Snap4City Dashboards and Apps

Snap4City is fully integrated with data processing tools such as Node-RED of JS Foundation in which the open Snap4City Library is providing a large set of MicroServices for creating data adapters, integration, business logic and data transformations. They can be easily used to compute any kind of indicators and follow the KPIs needed by cities such as the EC indicator on pollutants (ISO37120, 37122); city indexes and so on.

In addition, Snap4City fully supports the development of real time data analytic processes through machine learning, artificial intelligence and statistical languages such as Python, Java, R-Studio, also exploiting Tensor Flow, Keras, and any kind of library for data analysis, learning and deep learning. Snap4City is also developing and distributing a number of Open Source data analytics tools and algorithms for prediction, anomaly detection, heatmap production, and many others have been published on international top level journals for Smart Parking, Smart Biking, traffic flow reconstruction, traffic flow prediction, NOX prediction, NO2 prediction, people flow analysis, public transportation analysis, routing, etc. Data Analytics can be fully integrated into What-IF analysis tools in control rooms and for operators.

Benefits & Impact

  • Mobility and transport: reducing people congestion, traffic congestion, monitoring and controlling traffic flow, simulating and analysing mobility and transport, smart parking;
  • Environment: predicting NOX and long term NO2, monitoring pollutants of any kind and alerting, informing city users;
  • Energy: recharging stations monitoring, smart light control;
  • Strategic planning: performing what-if analysis with respect to critical conditions, planning production, system thinking on smart decision support systems;
  • City management: predicting maintenance interventions, multichannel alerting, anomaly detection as early warning, etc.;
  • People flow: monitoring and alerting on critical cases.

The possibility of establishing bi-directional connections with data channels in the above-mentioned domain, enabled higher levels of integration and exploitation, thus allowing the generation of unexpected hints and deduction, thanks to the support of the tools for data analysis and what-if analysis.

Added Value through FIWARE

Authors & Contributors

Nicola Mitolo
CEO at Snap4
Contact @




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