Open data

How Health Startups are Using Big, Open Data

2837123918_f7308483d1_zJoel Gurin of Information Week recently wrote, “Watson‘s venture into healthcare is part of a new movement to data-driven medicine. The federal government has recently released large amounts of data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Food and Drug Administration, among other agencies. At the same time, several other trends — the use of electronic medical records, an explosion of data about the human genome, and advances in data analysis — have given us the potential for a revolution in healthcare. We can look forward to more data-driven diagnostics, treatment plans, and predictive analytics to determine the best treatments more scientifically.” Read more

How Chicago’s Former CDO Made the City Smarter

4064715098_40e1e10410Nicole Laskowski of SearchCIO recently wrote, “When Brett Goldstein was appointed as Chicago’s first chief data officer (CDO) in May 2011, he found himself in the middle of a classic IT struggle. The city’s data was spread across the municipality and mired in silos, making it difficult to get a holistic view… That needed to change — in a hurry. The city was set to host the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit in May 2012. The event would bring in heads of state — and throngs of protesters — to Chicago. Goldstein wanted to provide public safety officials with better ‘situational awareness,’ or the ability to understand what was happening in any given place at any given time. To do so, Goldstein, who became Chicago’s CDO/CIO in 2012, needed to break data out of silos in a cost-effective manner that didn’t require overhauling the city’s infrastructure.” Read more

Taking Open Data to the Next Level

2260844587_70aef23924Phil Richards of Research Information recently wrote, “The academic researcher tends to be a competitive animal who perhaps operates most naturally at this more individualistic scale. But scientists are a pragmatic bunch – and so, where needs must, larger groups of researchers set personalities and personal differences aside to tackle ‘big science’ problems such as genomics or the discovery of the Higgs boson… But now, digital technology is opening up new possibilities for research. A researcher can test a new hypothesis relatively quickly against a sizeable pre-existing set of open digital research data, originating from a whole range of different past experiments in which he or she had no direct involvement, but which can be repurposed at large scale. Could that herald a step-change in the rate of scientific discovery, and associated creation of new knowledge and economic value?” Read more

‘Heritage and Culture Open Data Challenge’ Launches

odi summitGRAND PRIZE UP TO £50,000 for the best product using heritage and culture open data

CHALLENGE ASKS: “How can we use open data to engage more people, and more diverse people, in UK heritage and culture?”

With support from the British Museum, Nesta and the Open Data Institute(ODI) have today launched the ‘Heritage & Culture Open Data Challenge’.

As part of the Heritage & Culture Open Data Challenge, competing teams are tasked with developing products and services, which answer the question ”How can we use open data to engage more people, and more diverse people, in UK heritage and culture”. Read more

First ODI Open Data Awards given to Wikidata, Others

Wikidata representatives, Lydia Pintscher and Magnus Manske  receiving award from Nigel Shadboldt and Tim Berners-Lee.19:30 GMT Tuesday 4th November 2014 –Four organisations and one individual have been acknowledged for their contribution to the worldwide open data movement in the very first Open Data Awards, held at the Open Data Institute’s Annual Summit and Gala Dinner.

The awards were presented by the ODI’s founders, Sir Tim Berners Lee and Sir Nigel Shadbolt in a ceremony attended by leaders from the business, data and technology worlds. Nominations for the awards were open to everyone and judged by a team of six including panelists from the USA and Pakistan. Read more

EU Gets Behind Open Data with €14.4M for New Startups, Research & Training

ODINovember 4, 2014 — Building on the success of the Open Data Institute (“ODI”) startup programme, training business and research functions, and combining the skills of world-class partners, the EU has committed €14.4m (£11m) to three initiatives to catalyse open data innovation across the region. The funding is being announced today (4th November) at the ODI Summit in London.

1.    €7.8m Europe-wide incubator programme based on the ODI’s startup programme

2.     €3.7m Europe-wide web data research network

3.    €2.9m new academy to train the next generation of data scientists

This is the largest direct investment in open data startups in the world, to date. Read more

FLAX a Winner on the World’s Technology Stage

flax29 October, 2014 — Software designed at the University of Waikato and used all around the world has won a major international competition.

FLAX, which stands for Flexible Learning Acquisition, has taken first place at the Linked Vici Competition, held to acknowledge development in open and linked data for educational purposes.

The win was announced at the 13th International Semantic Web Conference, in Riva del Garda, Italy, with FLAX taking first place from 10 shortlisted candidates. Read more

New World War I Encyclopedia Relies on Semantic MediaWiki

19141918onlineHeritage Daily recently reported, “A comprehensive, English-language, open access encyclopedia of what was deemed the ‘Great War’ was introduced and released on Wednesday 8th October, in Brussels. The project ‘1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War’ is managed by researchers at Freie Universität Berlin in cooperation with the Bavarian State Library. It is funded by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG). The encyclopaedia combines the latest historical research with the many advantages of the Semantic Web. The content was written and compiled by 1,000 experts from 54 countries, and is continuously being updated and expanded.” The encyclopedia can be accessed here. Read more

Berners-Lee Shares Voices His Opinions on Data Ownership

timbernersleeAlex Hern of The Guardian reports, “The data we create about ourselves should be owned by each of us, not by the large companies that harvest it, the Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, said today. Berners-Lee told the IPExpo Europe in London’s Excel Centre that the potential of big data will be wasted as its current owners use it to serve ever more ‘queasy’ targeted advertising. By gaining access to their own data, people could use it with information about themselves from other sources in order to create ‘rich data’ – a far more valuable commodity than mere ‘big data’, he said.”

Hern continues, “Berners-Lee said that ‘people only look at one angle’ of big data. ‘When you read big data pieces in a magazine, it’s about how big companies are spying on you. A lot of the marvel of big data is a threat to me. Read more

DBpedia 2014 Announced

DBpedia logoProfessor Dr. Christian Bizer of the University of Mannheim, Germany, has announced the release of DBpedia 2014. DBpedia is described at dbpedia.org as  “… a crowd-sourced community effort to extract structured information from Wikipedia and make this information available on the Web. DBpedia allows you to ask sophisticated queries against Wikipedia, and to link the different data sets on the Web to Wikipedia data. We hope that this work will make it easier for the huge amount of information in Wikipedia to be used in some new interesting ways. Furthermore, it might inspire new mechanisms for navigating, linking, and improving the encyclopedia itself.”

The full announcement on the new release is reprinted below with Bizer’s permission.

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DBpedia Version 2014 released

1. the new release is based on updated Wikipedia dumps dating from April / May 2014 (the 3.9 release was based on dumps from March / April 2013), leading to an overall increase of the number of things described in the English edition from 4.26 to 4.58 million things.

2. the DBpedia ontology is enlarged and the number of infobox to ontology mappings has risen, leading to richer and cleaner data.

The English version of the DBpedia knowledge base currently describes 4.58 million things, out of which 4.22 million are classified in a consistent ontology (http://wiki.dbpedia.org/Ontology2014), including 1,445,000 persons, 735,000 places (including 478,000 populated places), 411,000 creative works (including 123,000 music albums, 87,000 films and 19,000 video games), 241,000 organizations (including 58,000 companies and 49,000 educational institutions), 251,000 species and 6,000 diseases. Read more

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