It’s Independence Day in the USA today. In the spirit of letting freedom ring everywhere, it seems a good time to point out an effort by a small team of open data developers to create an open, free, international directory to help Open Data projects flourish.

That’s how Bernadette Hyland, co-chair, W3C Government Linked Data Working Group and co-founder and CEO of 3RoundStones, recently referred to the Open Data Directory, a new W3C project that serves as an aggregator of Linked Data published on the Web.

In a posting announcing its launch at the end of June, Hyland pointed out that the Directory showcases organizations in at least 8 countries from over 25 organizations who are publishing Open Data on the Web using a Linked Data approach, and counts 46 products and 20 organizations providing Open Data services.

The site is built on the open source Callimachus platform that enables web developers to create and run data-driven web sites, featuring graph storage, an integrated development environment, visualizations and web publishing for the development of Linked Data apps. (Callimachus Enterprise, the commercially supported Linked Data Management system from 3RoundStones, won the Top Semantic Technology Startup award at last year’s Semantic Tech & Business Conference; see our story here).

The open source Callimachus framework for data-driven applications based on Linked Data principles recently was updated, with new features including built-in support for most types of Persistent URLs (PURLs), including Active PURLs and the ability to access remote Linked Data via SPARQL SERVICE keyword and XProc pipelines, among others (see our stories here and here).

All of the data in the Directory, Hyland noted, is freely available for download as RDF. The current version of the Directory includes some basic visualizations, with plans to expand on them.

Taking a quick tour through the Directory’s breakdown of organizations by type and location, Research/Academic and Commercial organizations each account for 34.6 percent of current work there. A list of organizations participating by name is here. Project listings look to hail primarily from North America and Western Europe, with Ireland, Spain, and the U. K. besting Canada and the U.S.

This should just be a start, though, as the hope is that more Open Data projects will join. There’s no need to create user accounts or be a W3C member to participate and publish your own Linked Data for the Directory to consume. Participants remain owners of the canonical data. Hyland notes in her posting that the door’s open for others to join the Open Data Directory Community Group, as well – go here if you’re interested.

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