Change of UK government not slowing down data.gov initiative

Linked open data needs a push in Ireland

Interesting to read Shadbolt’s take on the change of government in the UK, in the context of Linked Open Data:

This is another area in which Berners-Lee and Shadbolt are highly influential, having overseen the design and implementation of the UK’s open data portal, data.gov.uk. “The continuity of thinking on open data as we’ve transitioned between governments has been remarkable,” says Shadbolt. “In a parliamentary democracy, it’s very difficult to argue that the public doesn’t have a right to government data,” he adds.
Perhaps the next Irish Government may be able to apply some pressure to increase publication of DATA which belongs to you and me in a format in which we can actually do something useful with it.

Mind you I am reminded of previous discussion about the need for a government CIO and/or CTO in Ireland.


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Challenges in linked data

Teething problems with some linked open data initiatives

I referenced recently Tim Berners Lee’s encouragement to everyone looking to publish linked open data to use the Resource Definition Framework.  I also referenced in this blog recent work completed by the New York Times in this field.  The New York Times initiative has attracted an amount of comment in the technical community identifying the teething issues/ errors in this data as published.

Stefan Mazzocchi’s recent post, Data Smoke and Mirrors, speaks to some of the issues associated with publishing lots of linked data using RDF.  Stefan has reviewed a triplification of all the data from data.gov – and has been left somewhat bemused.  The posting itself provides some examples.

The point here is that we want to see the data published, we want to see the standards used – but it’s far from simple and publishing for the sake of publishing or triplifying for the sake of triplifying may be self defeating.  As a community we need to focus on quality and the end user of the data.

semantic web and the subprime crisis

There are challenges in deployment of the semantic web – including provision of data marked up using RDF.

Nice piece by Michael Cataldo outlining potential benefits of semantic web – in terms of making it easier to access data on the web and cross reference/ correlate the data.  Michael makes the point that fuller adoption of semantic web principles at an earlier date may have assisted in preventing some of the elements of the subprime crisis.

I am very much a fan of the semantic web and indeed of the movement towards linked open data.  However it is interesting to read reports of Tim Berners Lee’s own frustrations wrt advances in linked open data e.g. the fact that data is being published on data.gov in non RDF formats (thereby limiting the ability of people to browse from this data to other RDF marked up data).

I think Michael Cataldo, in looking to demonstrate potential benefits of semantic web, may be stretching things a little far wrt the subprime crisis – were people motivated to make the data easily understood or was obfuscation not part of the intent?

Semantic web in Ireland

Web 2.0 to Web 3.0 and then some!

On a day of doom and gloom – the emergency budget in Ireland – was lucky enough to spend a couple of uplifting hours in the Institute of European Affairs, Ireland (www.iiea.com).

I was listening to and interacting with Liam Moran, business development manager, Digitial Enterprise Reseach Institute (Galway, Ireland).  DERI (www.deri.com) is the type of thing this country needs (‘The vision of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute is to be recognised as the leading international web science research institute interlinking technologies, information and people to advance business and benefit society’).  Set up with some real foresight, backed by the Irish government and Europe, real leadership (including Tim Berners Lee) and lots of brilliant minds.

Very exciting applications emerging from the research – the latest being SIOC to be adotped by the US government.  Visit the site (www.deri.com) for a better insight.

Liam gave a comprehensive review of Web o, 1, 2 & 3 and painted some great images of what could happen.

One particular observation caught my attention – how do we avoid getting bogged down in simply copying (even plagiarising) others to the exclusion of original, creative, thought?  Not being a music composer I often wonder where song writers continue to come up with new ideas?  Reminds me in some wasy of being back in school – when you were studying Shakepeare did you try to understand Hamlet for yourself and provide your own analysis/ commentary or did you simply buy ‘Coles Notes’ and regurgitate the standard bumph?