Implementing Semantic Web in Government An SLA 2006 conference program sponsored by the Information Technology Division and the Government Information Division
Overview of implementing the Semantic Web using the Data Reference Model and the Categorization Working Group of the Interagency Committee on Government Information (ICGI)
Richard Huffine, U.S. General Services Administration/FirstGov
Semantic Web in use in government - Case studies using Federal Enterprise Architecture NASA Digital Shuttle Project, FAA, and GSA
Dean Allemang, Top Quadrant Consulting
Semantic interoperability and library skills (taxonomy, metadata management, etc.)
Marjorie Hlava, Access Innovations
"The Semantic Web is an extension of the current web in which information is given well-defined meaning, better enabling computers and people to work in cooperation.“
Tim Berners-Lee, James Hendler, Ora Lassila in http://www.scientificamerican.com/2001/0501issue/0501berners-lee.html
The Semantic Web is a project to make the content of the World Wide Web understandable by machines. It extends the ability of the World Wide Web through the use of standards, markup languages and related processing tools.
en. wikipedia .org/ wiki /Semantic_Web
What Is the Semantic Web?
The Semantic Web is an extension of the current Web that will allow you to find, share, and combine information more easily. It relies on machine-readable information and metadata expressed in RDF.
Resource Description Framework (RDF) is a general framework for how to describe any Internet resource such as a Web site and its content.
Semantic Web in Government
Government Agencies are struggling with issues of repetition in data collection, barriers to sharing information, and increasing expectations to do more with less
The U.S. E-Gov Agenda (and the Partnership for Reinventing Government before it) sets expectations that Agencies will work together to solve common business problems
After September 11, 2001, the intelligence community has stepped up their efforts to make their information interoperable with other intelligence and law enforcement entities
Categorization Working Group
Convened in 2003 to recommend approaches for implementing the E-Gov Act
Comprised of U.S. Federal staff, mostly librarians
Focused on defining a clear scope and approach to the categorization of information in order to improve access to government information that is born digital
Intended to build on the past (bibliographic records) and incorporate new approached for the future
Recommendations were rolled into the implementation of the Data Reference Model of the Federal Enterprise Architecture
See a video series on the topic at http://www.loc.gov/flicc/video/cmwg/egov/egov05.html
Federal Enterprise Architecture
A set of common frameworks for describing information systems and their interdependencies:
Requires Agencies and Departments to document their current and target architectures and then justify Information Technology expenditures in support of achieving that target architecture
Encourages organizations to share components and reduce the duplication of effort (through coordinated E-Gov Initiatives like Grants, Travel and Financial Management
Data Reference Model
Version 2.0 released in November, 2005
There are two basic types of metadata recommended in the Data Description section of the DRM abstract model:
Logical data models to describe Structured Data Resources, and
Digital Data Resource metadata (such as Dublin Core elements) to describe Semi-Structured and Unstructured Data Resources.
Recommendation stopped short of recommending specific standards but acknowledges that various standards can be mapped to one another to create a minimal amount of interoperability
http://www. whitehouse .gov/omb/egov/a-5-drm.html
Data Reference Model (continued)
Agency implementation of the Data Reference Model is slow
Much of the utility of the FEA to date has been driven by IT Investment decision-making, not by the need to share information with other Agencies
The primary exception, intelligence, has made real progress although much of it is classified
The Data Reference Model supports semantic interoperability but it does not mandate its implementation.
Agencies are still struggling with both the business and cultural needs for sharing information
In the News
New Scientist has discovered that Pentagon's National Security Agency, which specialises in eavesdropping and code-breaking, is funding research into the mass harvesting of the information that people post about themselves on social networks. And it could harness advances in internet technology - specifically the forthcoming "semantic web" championed by the web standards organisation W3C - to combine data from social networking websites with details such as banking, retail and property records, allowing the NSA to build extensive, all-embracing personal profiles of individuals.
“ Pentagon sets its sights on social networking websites,” by Paul Marks, June 9, 2006, NewScientist.com news service