If you missed it, check out what we wrote about our new open data platform. It’s all about USMART and expanding the UrbanTide family with beta testers.

Well, we’re back with more USMART! In this post, you will get a glimpse of what USMART is today, and a wee peek at some features in the making. 

Pssst! If you want the first-hand experience, apply to our beta tester programme!

Awesome feature #1: Powerful management

USMART gives you the tools and functionalities to manage your entire data publication process like a boss. We give you four access and permission levels. Why? To keep things super simple while keeping things super secure. Access and permission levels put you in charge of, well, access and permission levels!

There’s more. We also built into the publication process a tool that helps you seamlessly plan and publish your data.

A closer look:

Stage 1 Draft: the dataset is available only to your internal users. They can, for example, edit the metadata and tag the data to aid discovery. Bonus - our system automatically rates the dataset against Tim Berners-Lee’s 5* rating scheme for open data.

Stage 2 Planned: data is accessible, and the dataset information is editable by internal users only. However, your external users can see that there is a new dataset coming soon (although it is not yet accessible to them). This simplifies your publication plan with no more PDF reports, and only specific team members can take your dataset further and publish it for everyone.

Stage 3 Published: Awesome! You did it. Your external users can now access, download, play and work with your open data. Nice.

Awesome feature #1.5: Flexible data access

You need easy and flexible access to datasets. In our platform, you don’t just park your data. No way. You release it with the intent of mining that data for innovation, performance and service optimisation and community engagement purposes (monetisation coming soon).  To accomplish this, you need a platform that makes data easily accessible in a number of formats. Furthermore, we made it possible to upload a CSV file, and USMART does its magic so users can access the dataset in various formats (JSON, XML & CSV).

Awesome feature #2: API

An API, or application programming interface, is a set of published definitions, protocols and tools for building software and applications

USMART is the developer’s friend: you can expose datasets as APIs. In this case, USMART does the bulk of the data processing. What’s more is that the APIs allow developers to access up-to-date data. So, let’s say a developer builds an application accessing your dataset with an API in USMART. Then you update that dataset. The API allows the developer to have and display the most up-to-date data. Not an experienced developer? Our API access tutorial helps users work and play with open data in USMART.

Awesome feature #3: Intuitive data discovery

During our work in and around open data and smart cities we have come across various data platforms - some off-the-shelf and some built from scratch. Regardless of origin, top priorities are user interface and user friendliness especially when it comes to data discovery.

So we are creating a super cool and super simple open data platform. It takes you quickly and beautifully from data discovery to data creation. 

With 95% of our beta testers and users have reported that USMART is easy to use. *high five*

Future Feature

Silvia, our full-stack software engineer, is working on a new function: Query Builder. The query builder smooths interaction with the API by creating requests in an easy-to-understand method. The result? Intuitive data requests.  

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