What are the standards for mobility data sharing? MobiDataLab investigates

Interoperability issues are one of the main barriers which prevent mobility data providers to share their data. The lack of interoperability not only decreases connectivity across transport systems, and therefore, reduces their overall efficiency, but it also increases the cost of opening data by making it too complex as compared to the value derived from the available data.

To propose solutions to these interoperability issues, the EU-funded project MobidataLab has conducted a theoretical study on existing data sharing standards. This study aims to define a standardisation roadmap for both integrating existing data sharing standards and promoting standardisation results. The overall task including the production of this study will result in the mapping of technical requirements for current standards, and necessary extensions to be developed across further tasks.

This study provides an inventory of the different standards existing today in the field of data sharing and their applicability to MobiDataLab. It covers public transport data formats (Transmodel, NeTEx, SIRI, GTFS, etc.), data for micromobility and shared mobility, road data, pricing and ticketing data. Cross-domain standards are also considered, for the federation of cloud services, data catalogues (eg with DCAT-AP), and the sharing of geospatial data and linked open data.

For every standardised domain identified, the MobiDataLab partners contributing to this document have tried to answer the following questions:

  • Why is this standard of interest for MobiDataLab?

The purpose of this document is not to make a repetition of other standardisation works like Data4PT, Mobility-Data, MaaS Alliance, OMF, OGC, W3C, etc. especially as some members of these projects are part of the Advisory Board. The standard requirements for MobiDataLab are rather built on the objective to ease the combination of data from different domains, enrich them, experiment with them and innovate during the living labs. The following study of standards is therefore quite broad in scope and at the same time focused on what will be useful in the MobiDataLab context.

  • How will MobiDataLab use this standard?

MobiDataLab partners need to make sure that the following standards will either be integrated into the solution implementation (the MobiDataLab Transport Cloud), or be integrated into solutions that will be used in this context (e.g. GeoServer with WFS, HERE Real Time Traffic API with DATEX II, GTFS with Navitia, etc.)

  • How will MobiDataLab follow the evolutions of this standard?

The document produced is state-of-the-art, which means that we are interested in the standards in their current state, ie in 2021. On the other hand, the consortium needs to remain up to date with the latest evolutions of these standards, and include new standards that may appear in the course of the project. Standards are dynamic, they evolve and they are probably best shown on a timeline (and a standard timeline can be put in parallel with a regulation timeline, for instance, this is an approach to be taken for the v2).

The best way to follow the evolution of standards is to be part of the working groups for the different standards because in the end standards are always people who agree on a common way to address a specific problem. The MobiDataLab consortium will keep informed thanks to the advisory board, the reference group of stakeholders, and through
conferences and events.

To dive into the numerous insights provided by this meticulous work, visit D2.4 State-of-the-art on Mobility Data sharing standards on the MobiDataLab's website. Moreover, wait for the next version proposing suggestions about future standards and norms to be adopted for improved data sharing!