COVID-19: Cross industry responses

Central Look-up Service (API) for Key Resources

Posted by Hayden Sutherland

Health & Social Care | Transport & Logistics | Urban Connectivity & Smart Cities

Open Transport has previously created an Open Standard for a centralised look-up service specification across the transportation & mobility industry. In simplistic terms, it is the digital equivalent of sort codes for banking or post codes for the Post Office.
Full detail are available:

The idea:
We would like to utilise the work we have already done in the design & publication of this standard to develop a centralised ‘look-up’ for public services such as emergency/key services or infrastructure. This would provide a complete system-to-system directory that could be used by any solution providers/developers tasked with responding to the current and future major incidents.

What problem are we trying to solve?
1. During this period of intense innovation and data sharing there will be lots of organisations creating data sources – but without a central place for them to list their services for people to find them.  
2. Innovators such as mobile app creators will also be looking for data sources/catalogues of information and API’s to integrate to. But thus far there is no single central hub for them to connect to, which can identify the latest location or version.
Our project deliverables answer two key needs:
- It provides a single place for all services to publish their data catalogues & APIs
- It creates a central place for all developers to use / reference when innovating and creating new applications and functionality

It is NOT the expectation that this centralised look-up service provides or exposes personally identifiable information (PII) e.g. specific user details. But is simply the “digital Post Office” or an “Internet of Things signpost” to all other public or useful data services.

Examples of use would be:
- As the single public look-up for emergency services (e.g. ambulance location API, ICU capacity, A&E waiting times, etc.)
- Testing facilities (private or NHS, location, availability, facilities, costs etc)
- As a directory for region-wide public assets (possibly a catalogue of local authority car parks & any free spaces or a list of city buildings and their utilisation / availability).
- As the central source of region-wide utilities (power, water, electricity, their availability/ constraints and contacts)
- As a directory for hotel/accommodation available

Current situation:
We have just applied for UK Government innovation funding to create this new service and our application is still pending. Therefore in the meantime we would be very keen to offer our open standard for usage across more locally-based initiaitives and would be very happy to partner with any consortium willing to take this work forward


UK5G’s mission is to Educate, Collaborate and Innovate.

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Posted by Hayden Sutherland | 0 replies