The purpose of the project was to create a new platform to provide access to widely dispersed energy-related data in order to help architects, urban planners, engineers, policymakers and citizens make decisions to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions in towns and cities. The platform integrates data from multiple domains (cadastre, Geographic Information Systems, socio-economic statistics) using semantic technologies.
An innovative energy information management system was developed consisting of:
- Data repositories of energy related data, collected at different scales (neighbourhood, municipal and regional): supply and consumption at the district/national level, pollution maps, district GIS maps, climate and energy consumption in buildings and neighbourhoods.
- Energy standard vocabularies. From the collected data, a vocabulary of the building energy domain at an urban scale was developed using international technical standards and a recognized terminology accepted by the community. The terms were compiled in 25 energy standard tables, encompassing 987 concepts which have been included in the ontology.
- Semantic energy information framework (SEIF). It includes methods and tools to create a semantic building energy model at urban scale. This semantic model supports interoperability among systems by enabling translation and mapping between different energy models to support decision-making in urban planning.
In order to create the SEMANCO ontology, it was necessary to develop new ontology engineering tools: A user-friendly ontology editor to visualize and edit the ontologies (Click-On), a federated query engine to automatically look-up to the data sources linked to the ontology (ELITE), a collaborative ontology mapping environment that helps domains experts and ontology engineers to integrate the data (Map-On), and a collaborative environment to enable the exploration of the integrated data to multiple users (Search-On). Existing tools for data visualization and analysis were used and new tools were developed in order to collect, analyse and manage the information semantically modelled through the SEIF. The SEMANCO platform was tested in case studies in four cities: Copenhagen (Denmark), Newcastle (UK), Manresa (Spain), Turin (Italy). In order to support the potential commercial exploitation of the SEMANCO integrated platform a customer facing web portal, EECITIES (www.eecities.com) was created.
FP7-ICT - Specific Programme "Cooperation": Information and communication technologies