Posts Tagged ‘Swirrl’

OpenCube Project Launches – Promises Opportunities for Open Statistical Data

OpenCube logoEU Initiative OpenCube partner consortium to develop software tools for publishing and reusing Linked Open Statistical Data

Thermi, Thessaloniki, Greece, January 14th, 2014 – A consortium of partners headed by the Centre for Research and Technology – Hellas (CERTH), recently launched the OpenCube project, an EU Initiative for Publishing and Enriching Linked Open Statistical Data for the Development of Data Analytics and Enhanced Visualization Services. The project intends to make Linked Open Statistical Data (LOSD) more accessible to publishers and users and to facilitate mining these data so as to enable the extraction of interesting and previously hidden insights. As part of the project, these innovative new technologies will be tested at four pilot sites: three government agencies from across Europe and a large financial institution.

Linked Statistical Data

Governments, organizations and companies are increasingly releasing their data for others to reuse. A major part of open data concerns statistics, such as population figures and economic and social indicators. Analysis of statistical open data can create value for citizens and businesses in areas ranging from business intelligence to epidemiological studies and evidence-based policy-making.

Recently, Linked Data emerged as a promising paradigm to enable use of the web as a platform for data integration. Linked Statistical Data has been proposed as the most suitable way to publish open data on the web. However, publishing and mining LOSD faces particular challenges as it requires appropriate tools and methods.

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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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Hello 2014 (Part 2)

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Courtesy: Flickr/faul

Picking up from where we left off yesterday, we continue exploring where 2014 may take us in the world of semantics, Linked and Smart Data, content analytics, and so much more.

Marco Neumann, CEO and co-founder, KONA and director, Lotico: On the technology side I am personally looking forward to make use of the new RDF1.1 implementations and the new SPARQL end-point deployment solutions in 2014 The Semantic Web idea is here to stay, though you might call it by a different name (again) in 2014.

Bill Roberts, CEO, Swirrl:   Looking forward to 2014, I see a growing use of Linked Data in open data ‘production’ systems, as opposed to proofs of concept, pilots and test systems.  I expect good progress on taking Linked Data out of the hands of specialists to be used by a broader group of data users.

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Hello 2014

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Courtesy: Flickr/Wonderlane

Yesterday we said a fond farewell to 2013. Today, we look ahead to the New Year, with the help, once again, of our panel of experts:

Phil Archer, Data Activity Lead, W3C:

For me the new Working Groups (WG) are the focus. I think the CSV on the Web WG is going to be an important step in making more data interoperable with Sem Web.

I’d also like to draw attention to the upcoming Linking Geospatial Data workshop in London in March. There have been lots of attempts to use Geospatial data with Linked Data, notably GeoSPARQL of course. But it’s not always easy. We need to make it easier to publish and use data that includes geocoding in some fashion along with the power and functionality of Geospatial Information systems. The workshop brings together W3C, OGC, the UK government [Linked Data Working Group], Ordnance Survey and the geospatial department at Google. It’s going to be big!

[And about] JSON-LD: It’s JSON so Web developers love it, and it’s RDF. I am hopeful that more and more JSON will actually be JSON-LD. Then everyone should be happy.

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Good-Bye 2013

Courtesy: Flickr/MadebyMark

Courtesy: Flickr/MadebyMark

As we prepare to greet the New Year, we take a look back at the year that was. Some of the leading voices in the semantic web/Linked Data/Web 3.0 and sentiment analytics space give us their thoughts on the highlights of 2013.

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Phil Archer, Data Activity Lead, W3C:

The completion and rapid adoption of the updated SPARQL specs, the use of Linked Data (LD) in life sciences, the adoption of LD by the European Commission, and governments in the UK, The Netherlands (NL) and more [stand out]. In other words, [we are seeing] the maturation and growing acknowledgement of the advantages of the technologies.

I contributed to a recent study into the use of Linked Data within governments. We spoke to various UK government departments as well as the UN FAO, the German National Library and more. The roadblocks and enablers section of the study (see here) is useful IMO.

Bottom line: Those organisations use LD because it suits them. It makes their own tasks easier, it allows them to fulfill their public tasks more effectively. They don’t do it to be cool, and they don’t do it to provide 5-Star Linked Data to others. They do it for hard headed and self-interested reasons.

Christine Connors, founder and information strategist, TriviumRLG:

What sticks out in my mind is the resource market: We’ve seen more “semantic technology” job postings, academic positions and M&A activity than I can remember in a long time. I think that this is a noteworthy trend if my assessment is accurate.

There’s also been a huge increase in the attentions of the librarian community, thanks to long-time work at the Library of Congress, from leading experts in that field and via schema.org.

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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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