RPI exports data.gov information as linked data

November 6th, 2009

UMBC alumnus Joab Jackson has an article in Government Computer News, Tim Berners-Lee: Machine-readable Web still a ways off, reporting on the International Semantic Web Conference help outside of Washington DC at the end of October. The article uses data.gov to illustrate the challenges and opportunities for the Semantic Web. Data.gov is a site whose purpose “is to increase public access to high value, machine readable datasets generated by the Executive Branch of the Federal Government.”

Jackson quotes Tim Berners-Lee

“When you look at putting government data on the Web, one of the concerns is … to not just put it out there on Excel files on Data.gov,” he said. “You should put these things in” the Resource Description Framework.

and later describes a project at RPI to republish information from data.gov in RDF leaded by another UMBC alumnus, Li Ding.

“Our goal is to make the whole thing shareable and replicable for others to re-use,” said project researcher Li Ding. By rendering data into RDF, it can be more easily interposed with other sets of data to create entirely new datasets and visualizations, Ding said. He showed a Google Map-based graphic that interposed RDF-versions of two different data sources from the Environmental Protection Agency, originally rendered in CSV files.

data.gov information as linked data