Urban Data Collaborative

ELINOR-X enables the secure and structured exchange of data from public sector, companies and citizen with the aim of effective use and visualization. We build your urban data collaborative together with you – local and connectable!

The first official Gaia-X Lighthouse project in Switzerland

More about Gaia-X

ELINOR-X connects urban data owners and users

Many public organizations as well as companies collect data in urban areas, usually not accessible to others. In addition, there is data from city dwellers and visitors, which when aggregated also harbors untapped potential. ELINOR-X helps to set up organizational and technical structures in order to share this data in a secure, controlled and structured way - only where desired and approved.

Safe Data Space

ELINOR-X is based on TrustRelay’s platform for data sharing. Data is never stored centrally, but only mediated between the data providers and data users - legally agreed and technically secure. This means that data owners always have full control over who can use the provided data, under what conditions and for what purposes.

Data communities

At least two parties with overlapping interests in data form a data community.


The Data Community allows a highly secure exchange of data in a closed technical environment.

Data Sharing Agreement

Data access and the purpose of use is precisely regulated by means of specific, legally binding Data Sharing Agreements.


Who is ELINOR-X intended for?

Short and sweet, ELINOR-X is for everyone who is interested in data in an urban context and / or who can provide such data. This includes administrative units at all federal levels (federation, cantons and municipalities) as well as companies and other organizations.

Administrative units

Environment and mobility departments, statistical offices, etc.

Private sector companies

Taxi companies, mobility sharing providers, engineering firms and traffic planners

Public agencies

Public transport companies, hospitals, universities

Associations and NGOs

Neighborhood associations, transport associations, environmental associations

Interested to learn more? We would be happy to discuss your needs and show you the possibilities:

ELINOR-X makes urban data tangible and usable

ELINOR-X offers a modular, multi-layer kit to set up and orchestrate an individual urban data space. The organization and orchestration follow the principles of commons and cooperative structures.

Abstraction 1

Collaborative Urban Datasets

  • Orchestration framework to organize the collaborative community
  • Graphical user interface with an overview of different datasets with meta information and basic interpretation / translation
  • Search and filter functions
  • Data sharing platform (TrustRelay) incl. Data Sharing Agreement management
  • Basic reports and analytics functionality

Abstraction 2

Collaborative Urban Data Map

In addition to Abstraction 1: 

  • Added geo tagging for datasets
  • Geographical display of datasets on open street map and SwissTopo maps
  • Heatmap analysis and display function

Abstraction 3

Collaborative Urban Digital Twin

In addition to Abstraction 2:

  • Geographical display of datasets on SwissTopo 3D-map
  • Plug-in for city specific 3D-GIS-models
  • Cities can use and enrich their existing 3D-model
  • Individual graphic design / display
Aerial View City

Ready to join the urban data community?

Do you agree that data should be used collectively, yet in a self-determined manner and would you like to learn more about ELINOR-X?

Frequently asked Questions about ELINOR-X

What are the prerequisites for building a data collaborative?

The basic prerequisite for building a data collaborative is to be aware of the added value of using data. It requires concrete questions that can be answered better with the help of data or even only with it. The initiator and orchestrator of the data collaborative should be as neutral as possible, ideally the local government itself. This requires high-level internal support as well as the necessary skills, which can be brought in externally until it is set up internally.

How does a data collaborative like ELINOR-X differ from Open Government Data?

Open Government Data (OGD), according to the OECD, is a philosophy to promote transparency, accountability and value creation by making government data accessible to all (for free). In general, Open Data is data that is published for unrestricted use by anyone. In principle, this is the most effective way to share data.  
However, there is a lot of data that is not shared openly due to trade secrets, privacy or security concerns. This is where data collaboratives come in, allowing this data to be shared anyway within a defined and known circle of participants. This is of particular interest to existing Open Government Data initiatives, as in the context of a data collaborative, data is exchanged mutually and not just distributed unilaterally. Thus, in expert circles, data collaboratives are also seen as a further development of the Open Government Data approach.

Does it make sense to set up a data collaborative alongside the existing Open Government Data platform?

Since Open Government Data platforms distribute data unilaterally, but data is not mutually exchanged, evaluating a data collaborative is highly recommended. The secure exchange of data within known and defined groups will add considerable value over existing platforms. In expert circles, data collaboratives are seen as a further development of Open Government Data.

Are there examples of urban data collaboratives?

The GovLab has created an overview of already existing data collaboratives on their dedicated website: https://datacollaboratives.org/explorer.html
There are a few projects worth mentioning in the UK. For example, "The Birmingham Urban Observatory" project, led by the local University of Birmingham, curates diverse sensor data and makes it accessible, largely analogous to the "Cranfield Urban Observatory" run by the university there.