iot show

IoT Show: Smart Cities Ontology for Digital Twins

March 3, 2021

Smart Cities Ontology for Digital Twins

Last week, our CEO Gert De Tant was part of Microsoft’s IoT show with Olivier Bloch and Miriam Berhane Russom. the streaming of the event is right here. The IoT show is a collection of live-streamed events such as trainings, talks, announcements, product and features demos etc. to which you can subscribe to stay up to date with the latest and greatest in Microsoft’s IoT solution world.

In this article we want to provide an overview of the discussion and the key takeaways.

IoT and Digital Twins

Talking buzz words, many cities are evaluating not if they should develop a digital twin, but which use case they will implement first. The concept of a digital twin, a virtual representation of the real world through the use of real-time and historical data from IoT applications and sensors, is gaining importance for city administrations in aspiration of better decision making.

Microsoft has been working on their Azure Digital Twins platform, and with last week’s IoT show, is officially announcing the general availability of the open-source GitHub repository of Smart Cities ontology for Azure Digital Twins. The realization of this repo was an extensive collaboration between Microsoft, OASC and Sirus.

What is an ontology?

Azure Digital Twins will now come with a completely open modeling language: Digital Twins Definition Language (DTDL). It ensures optimal ease of use, better integration into the overall Azure platform, and helps building an open and interoperable model.

Supporting Smart Cities ontology

Sirus supported in providing a DTDL-based ontology, starting with ETSI CIM NGSI-LD, to  accelerate development of digital twins-based solutions for smart cities.

Because of our extensive experience with implementing and transforming smart city sensor data into the ETSI NGSI-LD standard, Sirus was asked to further define open models for Smart cities.

At Sirus, we are investing heavily on Digital Twins and their application in various domains like smart cities. After working with cities to enable them to access their data, we have built extensive experience on working with ETSI NGSI-LD and the OASC MiM’s.

With this experience and through our partnership with Microsoft, we are in a frontrunner position to help cities and companies in their aspiration to build a virtual world based on real-time data.


Bringing this first DTDL ontology for Smart Cities into the world, requires an ecosystem of partners. Next to partnering with Microsoft and OASC, other partners are also coming into play, such as Siemens with MindSphere City Graph, and ENE.HUB with SMART.NODE™. Other partners are Bentley Systems and Imec.

What’s next?

In order to accelerate the development of digital twins for smart cities, and enable further openness, interoperability and data sharing, anybody who is willing to further contribute to this initial set of use cases, is welcome to do so!

Explore the open-source GitHub repository, try it out with Azure Digital Twins, and learn how to contribute. Or, read more about our smart city competence or our smart city reference cases!


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