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DKSR Glossary
DKSR Glossary

Data Standards and Data Models

There are various initiatives, authorities and organizations that are developing standards or models for data in the smart city area. All of them aim to simplify the cooperation between different systems by standardizing the data.

However, there are generally no clear guidelines for data standards: In principle, anyone can try to establish their own data standard or data model. Also, the terms used are often not clear-cut.

This article provides a short explanation of the topic, followed by a brief overview of existing data standards and models.

Data model: Describes a real world object

A data model is a formal, structured representation of real things that defines an object and its associated attributes. The model focuses on a structure of representation - not necessarily on the details associated with the content of that structure. An example of this is the parking data model: it defines the information needed to describe a parking space.

Example Parking

A data model for parking names the attributes needed to describe a parking space. These can be:

Data model


Data standard: Describes the data format

When two or more parties want to exchange information, it must be possible to describe what that information "looks like": so the receiving party can do something with the data set when it arrives at its destination. A data standard provides the guidelines by which interacting parties can exchange information smoothly.

The goal of a data standard is to enable the sharing or exchange of information between multiple parties in a way that ensures the parties have the same understanding of what is represented within that information.

For example, a data standard governs the format for dates: it thus adds information to a data model, such as the format in which an attribute must be passed.

Data standard

The transition between model and standard is sometimes blurred. Some models also make a statement as to whether the data should be specified as a string (text) or as a number. In the case of lengths, for example, it remains open whether they should be specified in meters, centimeters, inches or inches; other models also supply this information.

It is precisely these transformations of different data formats that are handled by the DKSR connectors. Only if data from different sources are available in the same format can they be processed.

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