Photo Courtesy: Flickr/ knitsteel

Earlier this week The Semantic Web Blog took a look at a new service, Publish My Data, that’s aimed at helping U.K. governmental and quasi-governmental agencies climb aboard the Linked Data train.

Continuing that line of thought, there are some other opportunities emerging for public and private institutions to get some help in getting in on the fun. The more opportunities to grow buy-in for Linked Data, the better.

“Data is of course at the basis of our open and modern scientific community,” Professor Nigel Shadbolt,  Professor of Artificial Intelligence in the School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton, and Transparency and Open Data Adviser to UK Government, noted in his November presentation to the Royal Society, London. The more accessible and connected it is the better the opportunity to understand it, which has implications for everything from tackling climate change to the effectiveness of new drugs for diseases.

“We’ll have a web of data connected but I would say to you that actually the web is humanity connected,” Shadbolt said, noting that it will require using our ingenuity to “seize the opportunities that a world rich in data can give us, to see the patterns and connections that can help us understand ourselves and the world.”  (The full presentation, worth your time, is here.)

Now on to some sources of help:

● The EU-FP7 LOD2 (Integrated Project) and LATC (Support Action) projects consortia are backing the PUBLINK Linked Open Data Consultancy, which this month invites organizations to apply for a couple of weeks of free support for their Linked Data implementations. Eligible applicants include government administrations or agencies, research centers, and enterprises.

 The LATC, which stands for Linked Data Around the Clock, is a new publicly funded effort, with partners all over Europe, being co-ordinated by the Digital Enterprise Research Institute at the National University of Ireland to boost the use of the Linked Open Data Cloud for research and product purposes. The LOD2 project, Creating Knowledge Out of Interlinked Data, aims to contribute high-quality interlinked versions of public Semantic Web data sets for use by cross-domain apps.

With the Linked Open Data Starter Service from PUBLINK, selected applicants will have the opportunity to work with its experts to create high-level specifications and a technical architecture, as well as address non-technical issues around copyright, privacy and the like, and then bring their data to the Internet as linked open data. Go here to find out how to apply.

● The momentum continues on the other side of the Big Pond with the recent launch of the PlanetData project, lead by the Semantic Technology Institute (STI) Innsbruck at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, and funded with a 3 million Euro contribution by the European Commission’s seventh framework program. It’s described as aiming to bring order to large-scale data management – and building European expertise in the area along the way – with the creation of standards, training and research activities that will get organizations up to speed around issues related to open data exposure.

On the table is building a catalogue of reference data sets from various verticals and provisioning tools, best practices, and guidelines to help data owners in publishing their interlinked data sets online and managing them on a global scale.

Early next year the consortium plans to issue its next call for new partners, who will be eligible for funding up to 250,000 pounds, to submit proposals for helping it carry out project tasks. It’s invited any organizations interested in large scale data management and contributing to the PlanetData network to join as associate partners, where they’ll be able to have early access to its research and tools, training, and results. Find out more here

● Linked Data takes to the cloud – or at least, Germany’s fluid Operations says that it’s Information Workbench platform for Linked Data app development is, taking the form of an Amazon EC2 virtual appliance. Since new Amazon Web Services (AWS) customers can get a free useage tier of compute, storage and bandwidth for one year, those interested in the Information Workbench and the semantic metadata management layer it provides for integrating and managing multiple data sources can run that free as an appliance for a year, as well.

The Information Workbench is itself a free Open Source, self-service platform, and in fact the company used its platform to create for the 9th International Semantic Web Conference in Shanghai a Linked Data Explorer app to give attendees an overview of the event that’s still accessible here.