Posts Tagged ‘PublishMyData’

A Look Ahead For Linked Data

rsz_swirrllogoAt Swirrl, the focus continues to be bringing more users aboard the Linked Data train. It’s helping to realize this aim in part thanks to the work it’s doing with customers, primarily in the government sector. The company’s bringing its PublishMyData platform (which The Semantic Web Blog first discussed here) to customers such as the U.K.’s Department for Communities and Local Government, which is looking to Linked Data to help publish statistical data and useful reference data about local government and also information about the department’s performance to increase transparency, which is consumed primarily by other public sector organizations, charities, and entities that report to the department but are not part of it.

“Usually that was done in a mish-mash of technologies, and depended on individuals that do lots of hard work with spreadsheets to make it work,” says founder and CEO Bill Roberts. He characterizes the department’s move to Linked Data as a bit of a leap of faith, driven by its open data strategist Steve Peters and a vision of what can be achieved by moving in this direction. During engagements like this one, Roberts notes, Swirrl has gotten some strong insight, as well, into how to improve its solution for people who aren’t “dyed-in-the-wool Linked Data heads. That’s fed into things we’re working on,” including plans in the pipeline to build tools that make the self-service process easier.

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More Help On The Way To Fast-Forward Your Linked Data Plans

 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.

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Get Your Linked Data Here: Publish My Data Wants To Help U.K. Public Sector Get OnBoard

 The U.K. is moving ahead with plans to introduce more transparency and accountability into the public agenda, through efforts such as the data.gov.uk initiative to make public data more easily available. Often,  governmental agencies and semi-governmental bodies are getting onboard with the open data movement by exporting information from databases or spreadsheets into CSV files and putting them up in that format on their website.

But so much more can be accomplished if they head in the direction of Linked Data, expressing their data in RDF and using dereferenceable URIs to identify the things in those databases and spreadsheets, so that ultimately their information can be meshed with other Linked Data sets in what hopefully will be useful applications for the citizenry.  

 That, however, represents a technological hurdle for many of these organizations – one that PublishMyData would like to help them through with what it likens to a content management system that’s geared up for Linked Data. Its hosted service will translate these organizations’ information into Linked Data and look after all the infrastructure issues that go along with it, such as managing triple stores.  

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