Posts Tagged ‘The Guardian’

Additional Funding For Elasticsearch To Help Company Complement Its RealTime Search And Analytics Stack

elasticsearchlogoElasticsearch – whose Elasticsearch, Logstash and Kibana products for discovering and extracting insights from structured and unstructured data were discussed earlier this year here – has raised $70 million in Series C financing from New Enterprise Associates (NEA). Benchmark Capital and Index Ventures also participated in the round. That brings the total to $104 million over the past 18 months.

“Nearly all companies, start-ups and Fortune 500 enterprises alike, need to be able to slice and dice rapidly expanding data volumes in real time,” says Steven Schuurman, co-founder and CEO. The funding, Schuurman says, will be applied to enhancing sales, marketing and support personnel and efforts, as well as investing in development to build more complementary products that work with the ELK stack.

“Ultimately, this round of funding will help us get to our goal, faster, of making the ELK stack the de facto platform for businesses to gain actionable insights from their data,” he says.

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Elasticsearch 1.0 Takes Realtime Search To The Next Level

esearchpixElasticSearch 1.0 launches today, combining Elasticsearch realtime search and analytics, Logstash (which helps you take logs and other event data from your systems and store them in a central place), and Kibana (for graphing and analyzing logs) in an end-to-end stack designed to be a complete platform for data interaction. This first major update of the solution that delivers actionable insights in real-time from almost any type of structured and unstructured data source follows on the heels of the release of the commercial monitoring solution Elasticsearch Marvel, which gives users insight into the health of Elasticsearch clusters.

Organizations from Wikimedia to Netflix to Facebook today take advantage of Elasticsearch, which vp of engineering Kevin Kluge says is distinguished by its focus from its open-source start four years ago on realtime search in a distributed fashion. The native JSON and RESTful search tool “has intelligence where when it gets a new field that it hasn’t seen before, it discerns from the content of the field what type of data it is,” he explains. Users can optionally define schemas if they want, or be more freeform and very quickly add new styles of data and still profit from easier management and administration, he says.

Models also exist for using JSON-LD to represent RDF in a manner that can be indexed by Elasticsearch. The BBC World Service Archive prototype, in fact, uses an index based on ElasticSearch and constructed from the RDF data held in a central triple store to make sure its search engine and aggregation pages are quick enough.

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The Potential of the News Storyline Ontology

Our own Jenny Zaino recently discussed the development of the News Storyline Ontology. Now, Robin Pembrooke of the BBC has more on how the new ontology is being used at the BBC. He writes, “The BBC believes in distributing its work to the wider industry in order to benefit users and other online publishers. One aspect of this is the thinking around the use of metadata in BBC News stories, how we tag our articles, pictures and video clips to make our content easier to find and more accessible. This year a group of like-minded data architects from a number of UK publishers, including The Guardian and The Press Association, have been informally working on a data model that supports how stories like these are told and they’ve found a lot of common ground in their thinking.” Read more

New Contest: Visualize Open Data & Win $2K

The Guardian, Google, and the Open Knowledge Foundation have launched a new competition to find the best open government data visualization. The announcement states: “Governments around the world are releasing a tidal wave of open data – on everything from spending through to crime and health. Now you can compare national, regional and city-wide data from hundreds of locations around the world. But how good is this data? We want to see what you can do with it. What apps and visualisations can you make with this data? We want to see how the data changes the way you see the world. In conjunction with Google and the Open Knowledge Foundation (who will be helping us judge the results), see if you can win the $2,000 prize.” Read more

Data Journalism Lessons Learned at the Olympics

Simon Rogers of The Guardian recently reviewed what the publication learned about data journalism after covering the London Olympics. Rogers writes, “There was never a guarantee that it would amount to anything for us. The Olympics may have been the only news story in town last week and would undoubtedly produce great journalism, but would it result in data journalism? At its essence, this is the gathering of stories from data. It’s more than just producing a few charts – data visualisation is often the expression of data journalism, but the process of digging through the data to find the stories that matter, that is at its heart.”

He goes on, “At some levels the omens were not good. The key results data is locked up in lucrative deals between the International Olympic Committee and major news organisations. So, those results tables on our site, the BBC, The Telegraph and so on were paid – The Guardian’s is a feed from the New York Times and we were explicitly banned from releasing that feed as open data for you to download and explore with. As I wrote earlier, while it was not the first Open Data Olympics – it was arguably the first data Olympics. So, what can an open data journalism site do in that situation? This is what we learned.”

Read more here.

Image: Courtesy The Guardian

Word to Semantic Web Startups: The JOBS Act Is On

If there’s one thing the Semantic Web arena is full of, it is start-ups. In fact, the slew of creative and innovative ideas out there coming from young companies is one of the reasons for the first Start-Up Competition to be held at the Semantic Tech & Business conference in San Francisco this June.

If you fit the bill and haven’t checked out this opportunity, you should, right this way. Are more opportunities waiting in the wings for entrepreneurs? Yesterday Congress sent the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business) Act bill to President Obama for his signature. Once he signs it – and the White House has said that is the intention – entrepreneurs no longer will be prohibited from advertising their intentions to raise funds for their companies to investors, because the Act abolishes the general solicitation ban. As reported by The Washington Post, “the bill also establishes a framework for crowdfunding — which enables small companies to solicit equity capital from myriad small-dollar investors.”

What’s the reaction from some members of the Semantic Web community?

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Open Graph App Brings Increased Traffic to

Brittany Darwell of our sister publication, Inside Facebook, recently reported that attributed 30% of its referral traffic in February to The Guardian‘s social reader app on Facebook’s Open Graph. Darwell reports, “That’s up from 2 percent only six months ago. The change is largely the result of a Facebook canvas application that lets users read Guardian stories and share them automatically via Ticker, Timeline and News Feed. This is yet another example of Open Graph driving significant traffic to third-party apps and websites. For a few days in February, Facebook even surpassed Google in referral percentage to the Guardian, though it hasn’t maintained the lead.” Read more

Facebook’s Timeline Launches

Facebook today posted that users now officially can upgrade their profiles to its Facebook Timeline by heading here. Timeline, as Mark Zuckerberg described in September, is Facebook’s way of helping uses curate the stories of their lives, calling out the most meaningful events and recent highlights. During the F8 Developers’ Conference, he said that Facebook had “rethought from the ground up the heart of the Facebook experience.”

The Open Graph protocol, based on RDFa, provides power to the experience, enabling applications to focus on filling out user Timelines with lightweight activities, and on discovering new things through friends in what Zuckerberg at the time called a frictionless experience. As an example, he noted the debut of the Open Graph Spotify music app that adds to a user’s Timeline the songs she listens to, radio stations, and albums.

Other Open Graph app launch partners announced at the event in the fall were The Daily, Dailymotion, Earbits, The Guardian, Hulu, iHeartRadio, The Independent, Izlesene, Jelli, My Video, Netflix, Rdio, Slacker, Songza, The Washington Post, and Yahoo. Others, such as The Huffington Post, joined later. In late November, Facebook said that the publishers building social news apps to help users see what their friends or reading or to view past top articles are seeing good early results.

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Embracing Open Data

The Guardian recently published a piece on the vital role of local leaders in pushing Open Data initiatives. The article states, “The starting point for transparency – opening up and democratising public data – should have at its heart public service outcomes for citizens and communities and relevant data should be open to all those deciding upon, designing and creating these outcomes.” Read more

Elsevier Competition Results in Some New Apps For Sciverse — And Science

Get ready for some new apps for Elsevier’s Sciverse framework. Last year Elsevier, which has one of the largest vaults of scientific data in the world, launched its Sciverse Applications module. This provided a way for researchers and scientists to develop and share customized solutions that improve search and discovery of its wealth of integrated content and meta-data in the SciVerse hub of ScienceDirect, SciVerse Scopus, Sciverse SciTopics, and targeted web content.

Now it’s announced the winners of its Apps For Science competition, social and semantic ones that plug into the framework among them (see above). Elsevier recognizes that when it comes to meeting researchers’ search and discovery needs, it can’t do it all alone. “We’re not going to come up with all the solutions ourselves, so a key goal is to collaborate with developers and researchers to provide tools,” says Rafael Sidi, Vice President Product Management, Applications Marketplace and Developer Network, Elsevier

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