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The State of Linked Government Data


There are high expectations for Linked Government Data—the practice of publishing public sector information on the Web using Linked Data formats. This slideset reviews some of the ongoing work in the …

There are high expectations for Linked Government Data—the practice of publishing public sector information on the Web using Linked Data formats. This slideset reviews some of the ongoing work in the US, UK, and within W3C, as well as activities within my institute (DERI, National University of Ireland, Galway).

Published in Technology
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  • Data.Gov.UK has now released the RDF dumps that I sought. Thus, case closed re. my earlier quibbles :-)


    1. -- RDF archive release post from Leigh Dodds .
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  • looks very promising
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  • Good stuff, modest without being apologetic. Linked Data is just the beginning...
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  • @cygri:

    BTW - did you actually look at the mailing list thread re. this issue of RDF dumps (again nothing to do with a specific RDF format) to get some background to my gripe before drawling conclusions about my comments?


    1. -- mailing list thread re. issue of LOD and RDF dumps (note: the responses I’ve received to date) .
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  • @cygri:

    Look, you know I don’t have a preferred format for anything when it comes to structured linked data. That isn’t my point. Also, my comments have nothing to do with undermining the good work. My gripe (an one I will not let up on) is this: at the onset of LOD (remember the SWEO project) we agreed the following best practices for 'open data' published as 'linked data':

    1. Produce an RDF dump
    2. Load into SPARQL compliant RDF Store
    3. Publish Linked Data (via whatever platform does the job for you)
    4. Link to other Datasets in the Linked Data Cloud.

    Also recall, we established that crawlers shouldn’t go pounding public SPARQL endpoints (since this ultimately disrupts other users), hence point #1.

    If you take some time to research the history of this gripe of mine (see the mailing list), I am sure you will find the responses I’ve received so far quite intriguing.

    I hope I’ve made my point crystal clear?

    Please do remember, we do not exist in an 'all or nothing' realm (at least I don’t). When I raise concerns about practices that ultimately lead to confusion, the gut reaction simply cannot be: You Don’t Like This etc.. I am raising a very serious point here.

    How come Data.Gov have no problem producing RDF dumps (again nothing to do with a specific format, its RDF data in the format they have chosen).
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  • 1. The State of Linked Government Data
    Richard CyganiakDERI Friday Talk, August 20, 2010
  • 2. High expectations …
    Publishing Public Sector Information on the Web
    Itenables the reuse of the data provided by government agencies, opening up new business opportunities.
    It provides citizens a direct access to public services, helping to cut costs and improve processes in the government agencies and between the agencies and the citizens.
    It helps increase the citizen engagement and participation
    Highest-profile adoption of Semantic Web tech to date
  • 3. Open Data vs. Linked Data
    Open Data
    Equal access for all
    Licensing, legal issues
    Changing the way government works
    Linked Data
    Linked, Open Data!
  • 4. Open Data …
    Open Data starts with making available the data that you already have, in whatever format.
  • 5. Raw data catalog,
  • 6. Government data catalogs
  • 7. TimBL’s 5-starplan for open data
    ★ Make your stuff available on the Web
    ★★ Make it available as structured data(e.g., an Excel sheet instead of image scan of a table)
    ★★★ Use a non-proprietary format(e.g., a CSV file instead of an Excel sheet)
    ★★★★ Use linked data format(i.e., URIsto identify things, and RDF to represent data)
    ★★★★★ Link your data to other people’s data to providecontext
  • 8. All around the world …
    8 of XYZ
  • 9. United States
    National raw data and geodata catalogs
    Data-gov Wiki project at RPI
    “Triplifying” tabular datasets from
    Generic services on RDF data
    Wiki for collecting more information about datasets
    As of 2010, links to RPI’s RDF
  • 10. Data-gov wiki
  • 11. White House Visitor Search
  • 12. Dataset 10025: White House visistors
  • 13. Dataset: White House Visitee
  • 14. Comparing US and UK Global Foreign Aid
  • 15. Data-gov Wiki: Criticism
    Is this more useful than a table?
    <rdf:Descriptionrdf:about="#entry9053451"> <rdf:typerdf:resource=" 2009/data-gov-twc.rdf#DataEntry"/><value>2.7</value><period>M01</period><year>1995</year><series_id>SMU55225408000000001</series_id></rdf:Description>
    Source: Stefano Mazzocchi
  • 16. United Kingdom
  • 17. United Kingdom
    Large numbers of raw datasets at
    Selected datasets as five-star Linked Data
    Doing the groundwork for high-quality LD representations
    URI sets
    Best Practices
  • 18. Responsible Publishing
    Source: JeniTennison
  • 19. Designing URI Sets for the UK Public Sector
    Best-practice report
    Note ironic typo!
  • 20. Vocabularies
    SDMX-RDF and the Data Cube Vocabulary
    DERI; Epimorphics; Metadata Technologies; Stationery Office (coming soon)
    An organization ontology
  • 21. Datasets
  • 22. Linked Data API
    Developers demand familiar formats
    LD API delivers developer-friendly JSON-style APIs from SPARQL endpoints
  • 23. Crime Statistics
  • 24. – 800 years of law
  • 25. W3C Activities: eGov IG
    eGovernment Interest Group (eGov IG)
    “The mission of the eGov IG is to explore how to improve access to government through better use of the Web and achieve better government transparency using open Web standards at any government level (local, state, national and multi-national)”
  • 26. W3C Activities: eGov IG
    Documents produced so far:
    Use Cases
    Publishing Open Government Data
    Improving Access to Government throughBetter Use of the Web
  • 27. W3C Activities: eGov IG
    Demonstration (now chaired by Michael)
    Best Practices for Using Web Technologies to Deliver Government Services
    Best Practices for Government Data Management
    Best Practices for Government Use of Social Media
    Data Catalog Vocabulary task force (Richard, Fadi)
  • 28. W3C Activities: New Working Group
    Government Linked Data Working Group is planned
    Best practices, lessons learned in US and UK
    Strong support from W3C members
    Charter soon:
  • 29. Upcoming DERI activities
    CSO/DES Linked Data pilot
    Which school should I send my child to?
    LATC support action
    Work package: Publish EU-level datasets as LD
    LOD2 IP
    Work package: National datasets on Austria, Germany, Ireland etc.
  • 30. Reality check
    “Triplification” alone is not very useful
    Linked Data addresses syntax, data model, access, but does not automatically solve the hard problems
    Standardized classifications; identifier management; data provenance; versioning; context; data discovery
    Linked Data needs developers, journalists, analysts, scientists to translate it into benefits for the common citizen
    LD removes some technical issues, giving us a better shot at solving the organizational/political ones
  • 31. And finally…
    ISWC 2010 Tutorial:Linked Data for eGovernment
  • 32. Additional image sources
    Kristen Taylor