As part of the LOD2 webinar series that brings Linked (Open) Data tools & service webinars to the interested audience, we at Open Knowledge Foundation will be hosting the next session that showcases the CKAN open-source data platform in general and the CKAN-drive publicdata.eu data portal as an example. Please join us!
The session will give a basic introduction to the CKAN platform and it’s new 2.0 functionalities that include among other data visualization tools and social features. Additionally, the webinar will showcase the publicdata.eu data portal that runs on CKAN.
Timing: Wednesday March 27, 2013 – from 16.00-17.00 CET.
To join, please register here (participation is free of charge).
Press information 22.01.2013 for immediate release
The European Data Forum (EDF) is an annual meeting place for industry, researchers, policy makers, and community initiatives to discuss the challenges and opportunities of (Big) Data in Europe.
The next edition of the EDF will be held in Dublin, Ireland on April 9-10, 2013. The program will consist of presentations and networking sessions by industry leaders, academics, policy makers, and community organisers on a diverse range of topics, including research and technology development, training and knowledge transfer, and commercialization.
Vice-President of the European Commission Antonio Tajani recently launched the European Entrepreneurship Action Plan, which designates access to Open Data and Big Data as a must, stating that “investing in digital technologies is no longer a choice.” After the commitments of EC commissioner Neelie Kroess (for example, with Open Data) and others, this is again a clear “Go” signal for the European Data Economy.
This emerging community will enable promising ideas to move from the posing research questions stage to the successful acquisition and deployment of capital; at the same time, the community’s stakeholders will mutually reinforce commercial strategies that require a forward-looking, dynamic, and well-integrated EU-wide industry.
As the sector works to build in its own successes, it has to answer several strategic questions:
- Is the European economy ready for Big Data?
What are the novel innovation and business models for Open and Linked Data? What platforms, marketplaces, policies, and strategies for the development of data ecosystems should be targeted?
- Are we reaching out to relevant stakeholders?
Do the application scenarios and specific technical and non-technical concepts of Big Data providers and consumers meet demands for themes like Smart Cities, Environmental Research, Geo-Spatial Information, eScience, and Social Media?
- What does Europe provide in terms of innovative Business Intelligence solutions?
How can the sector best align with European research agendas and roadmaps for science, technology and innovation, in particular in relation to research framework programmes such as Horizon 2020? Which framework conditions are essential for meeting Europe’s ambitions towards a profitable data economy, such as forthcoming standardisation needs and commercialisation opportunities?
EDF2013 Facts What: European Data Forum 2013 (EDF2013) Where: Croke Park Conference Centre in Dublin, Ireland When: April 9 to 10, 2013 More Information: http://2013.data-forum.eu/
Registration (EDF2013 is free of charge): http://2013.data-forum.eu/news/european-data- forum-2013-call-contribution/registration Twitter: https://twitter.com/EUDataForum , hashtag: #EDF2013 Press Area: http://2013.data-forum.eu/about/press-area LinkedIn Group: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/European-Data-Forum-4356346 Get in touch: email@example.com
Programme and Call for Participation
We are seeking inspiring presentations addressing fundamental technical, application, socio-economic and policy-related topics related to Big Data management and analytics. The presentations will vary in format and focus depending on the anticipated audience and their contributors. Proposals will be reviewed by the organising committee of the European Data Forum (http://2013.data-forum.eu/about/organizers) according to their relevance to the scope and purpose of the event.
If you are interested in participating as a guest speaker for the EDF2013, please read the Call for Participation: http://2013.data-forum.eu/news/european-data-forum-2013-call-contribution and submit your presentation proposal no later than the 22nd of February, 2013 (2PM CET).
Registration – Travel Support – Sponsoring
Registration and participation in the European Data Forum 2013 is free of charge: http://2013.data-forum.eu/news/european-data-forum-2013-call-contribution/registration. There is also a limited opportunity for financial travel support (mainly for SMEs and NGO/NPO) – please watch the EDF2013 website for further details.
If you are interested in involving your organisation at the European Data Forum 2013, please note the Sponsor Information on the EDF2013 website and/or get in touch with the EDF2013 Sponsor Chairs: Nuria De-Lama Sanchez and/or Elena Simperl directly.
The European Data Forum 2013 is a joint activity of the EC projects:
- BIG (http://big-project.eu/)
- LOD2 (http://lod2.eu/)
- PlanetData (http://planet-data.eu/)
- Optique (http://www.optique-project.eu/)
- envision (http://www.envision-project.eu/) and
- TELEIOS (http://www.earthobservatory.eu/)
The EDF2013 is supported by the European Commission as well as by the Digital Repository of Ireland (http://www.dri.ie/), STI International (http://www.sti2.org/) and DERI, NUI Galway (http://www.deri.ie/). EDF2013 is an associated event of the Irish Presidency of the Council of the EU (http://www.eu2013.ie/).
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us and we will follow-up with you.
The EDF2013 conference team is looking forward to meeting you in Dublin, Ireland in April!
EDF 2013 Press Contacts
EDF2013 Dissemination Chair Martin Kaltenböck, Semantic Web Company, Austria Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
EDF2013 Local Dissemination Chair Deirdre Lee (DERI, NUI Galway, Ireland) Tel. +353 91 495336 Fax +353 91 495541
EDF2013 Press Area: http://2013.data-forum.eu/about/press-area
European Flagship Project for Linked Open Data releases an new toolset to exploit the potential of data
Official Press release from 7.12.2012:
We are living in a time of an emerging new data economy: the amount of data is growing rapidly and the need for more efficient data management is rising to really exploit the potential of data. Linked Open Data (LOD) principles and technologies provide powerful ways of data publishing, consumption and integration for publishers, enterprises and governmental institutions. The EU funded project LOD2 – creating knowledge out of interlinked data – offers a freely available bundle of services and technologies targeted at the rapidly growing Web of Data!
The LOD2 project consortium (http://lod2.eu) is excited to announce a bundle of services and activities in the field of Linked Open data (LOD) as well as the 2nd release of the LOD2 technology stack available at: http://stack.lod2.eu.
The project coordinator Dr. Sören Auer states that “in a world of an emerging new data economy innovative and scalable mechanisms and technologies are needed to solve the arising data management problems – we see that lots of organisations are seeking for state-of-the-art data publishing and integration technologies along the whole data value chain to be able to efficiently use this growing amount of data. The efficient handling of data – available inside of organisations as well as on the internet – becomes more and more important to reach competitive advantage.”
In December 2012 the 2nd release of the LOD2 Technology Stack has been launched. This marks a major outcome of the 4-year EU-funded LOD2 project after the second project year. This technology stack is an integrated distribution of aligned tools supporting the life-cycle of Linked Data from extraction, authoring, over enrichment, interlinking, fusing to visualization. The stack comprises new and substantially extended tools from LOD2 members and 3rd parties.
Vital to alleviate the data and information overload, Linked Data technologies and services are providing the foundation for the future web of data. Their continuous development by LOD2 members from the early emergence of Linked Data as a paradigm for integrating and publishing structured data on the Web and the 2nd release of the new LOD2 Stack, make it easier and more efficient for professionals from across government and industry to publish and consume linked data on the Web as well as inside their organisations.
All information about the LOD2 Technology Stack is available on: http://stack.lod2.eu.
Details about the 2nd release of the LOD2 Stack
The LOD2 consortium proudly announces release 2.0 of the LOD2 stack available at: http://stack.lod2.eu. The LOD2 stack is an integrated distribution of aligned tools which support the life-cycle of Linked Data from extraction, authoring/creation over enrichment, interlinking, fusing to visualization and maintenance. The stack comprises tools from the LOD2 partners and third parties.
More details and instructions on installing the LOD2 Stack locally are available in the HOWTOSTART document: http://bit.ly/lod2-stack-how-to. The documentation wiki contains also an overview of the webinars on the LOD2 stack and short use-case tutorials using the LOD2 stack. The IPR report describing the legal aspects of the LOD2 stack can also be found on this site.
The LOD2 stack is organized as a Debian package repository making the tool stack easy to install on any Debian-based system (e.g. Ubuntu). A quick look at the stack and its components is available via the online demo at: http://demo.lod2.eu. For a more thorough experimentation a virtual machine images with LOD2 Stack installation script can be downloaded from http://stack.lod2.eu/VirtualMachines.
This second release of the LOD2 Technology Stack contains updates to the components Ontowiki, Silk, SigmaEE and Virtuoso.
The LOD2 Technology Stack has the following new components since release 1.1:
The assisting SPARQL editor SPARQLED (DERI),
The LOD enabled Open Refine (previously Google Refine) (ZEMANTA),
The extended version of SILK (University of Mannheim / previous FUB) with link suggestion management from LATC (DERI),
The rdfAuthor library which allows to manage structured information from RDFa-enhanced websites (ULEI),
the SPARQLPROXY which is a PHP based forward proxy for remote access to SPARQL endpoints (ULEI)
Release 2.0 contains also a first contributed Debian package for a component which is maintained by a group outside the LOD2 consortium. With the help of ULEI a package for the STANBOL engine (http://stanbol.apache.org/) has been contributed.
From now on we will regularly release improved and extended versions of the LOD2 Stack. The next intermediate release is to be expected in spring 2013.
The existing and new components are now accessible via the LOD2 demonstrator webinterface: http://demo.lod2.eu/.
LOD2 Press Contact
- Thomas Thurner, Semantic Web Company, Austria, email@example.com
- Sandra Prätor, University of Leipzig, Germany, firstname.lastname@example.org
End of official Press release
LOD2 freely available Webinar series on Linked Open Data tools and services
The LOD2 Webinar series offers monthly free Webinars about Linked Open Data tools and services based around the LOD2 project, the LOD2 Stack and the Linked Open Data Life Cycle, also in the form of 3rd party tools and services.
In total 11 recorded Webinar tutorials are available so far that cover mainly Linked Open Data software tools like the linking framework SILK, the semantic wiki Ontowiki, the triple store server Virtuoso or the PoolParty Semantic Information management Suite. Also service tutorials like ‘Linked Data Management’ can be found in the webinar repository available on the LOD2 website: http://lod2.eu/BlogPost/webinar-series.
The next upcoming webinar is on the 2nd release of the LOD2 Technology Stack:
What:The 2nd release of the LOD2 Stack Presenter: Tenforce, Belgium When: December 12, 2012, 04.00pm CET Info & registration: http://bit.ly/lod2-webinar-dec2012
Followed by free webinars by Zemanta in January13, University of Mannheim about Spotlight in February and by the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKFN) about publicdata.eu and CKAN in March 2013.
If you are interested in Linked (Open) Data principles and mechanisms, LOD tools & services and concrete use cases that can be realised using LOD then join us in the free LOD2 webinar series!
After more than a dozen small PUBLINK projects have been graduated in the last two years , the LOD2 consortium is launching a third round, which also includes specific support for Linked Data tool developers, who want to integrate their tool with the Debian-based LOD2 Stack. The PUBLINK Linked Open Data Consultancy is backed by the LOD2 project .
In order to lower the entrance barrier for potential data publishers and to improve the integration and interoperation of tools, the LOD2 consortium offers the free PUBLINK Linked Open Data Consultancy to up to five selected organizations supporting their data publishing or tool integration projects with an overall effort of 10-20 days each comprising support from highly skilled Linked Data professionals.
More information about PUBLINK and instructions on how to apply can be found at:
PUBLINK aims to support Linked Data tool developers as well as organizations (e.g. governmental agencies, data providers, public administrations), which are interested to publish large amounts of structured information of a potentially high public interest. Brief applications of interested organizations are being accepted till December 31st 2012.
Over a year on from the Open Data Challenge many people still ask us about how we organised the competition. Hence we’ve put together a brief slide deck which takes a brief look behind the scenes as to how we organised it. It includes some advice for others planning similar initiatives.
As far as we know it is still Europe’s biggest open data competition to date – though we look forward to seeing even bigger and even better initiatives encouraging people to use public data for the public good in the future!
The CKAN-powered data portal at publicdata.eu aggregates information on data from about 20 data portals across Europe. It’s part of the EU-funded LOD2 project on Linked Open Data, which held its regular plenary meeting over three days last week – hosted in Cambridge by the Open Knowledge Foundation. This meeting marked LOD2′s half-way point, two years through its four-year duration.
The last plenary was in Vienna in March – my write up here has much more information about the project. By a happy coincidence our meeting this time co-incided in Cambridge with a conference organised by Opening Up, another EU open data project, and we were able to link up with them at their event.
A taste of Cambridge
As host, my main concern this time was with the organisation of the event, which happily ran without a hitch. Meetings were held in style in the fine surroundings of Newnham College, with conference accommodation at another nearby college. Our visitors (from France, Germany, Austria, Poland, Serbia, and beyond) thus had a taste of the Cambridge experience, enhanced with dinner in a good local pub and a lunchtime punt trip on the River Cam. For additional authenticity, there were a couple of quick downpours while we were out on the river. Luckily they didn’t last long enough to spoil anyone’s fun.
The power of the coffee break
After the breakout sessions for each of the project’s ‘work packages’ I ran two very short ‘Open Space Technology’ sessions on Friday. OST emerged out of the observation that conference-goers often find the most productive part is the coffee breaks – where they can discuss and sort out the problems on their mind at the time. Despite its overly grand name, I’m a great fan of OST as a way of quickly setting up workshops and discussions on the ‘hot’ topics of the moment. Though we had time for what was barely a taster of OST, several productive conversations ensued that would perhaps have ‘fallen between the gaps’ of the individual work packages.
One topic emerged as particularly hot – that of usability. LOD2 is primarily a research project so the focus in the first two years has been mainly on results. It’s interesting and encouraging that so many partners are now keen to give attention to usability too, which is sure to help LOD2′s outputs survive after the project ends.
Neelie Kroes, EC Commissioner for the Digital Agenda mentions LOD2 project in OKFestival opening speech
Cross posted from the main LOD2 blog. Post written by Martin Kaltenböck of the Semantic Web Company.
Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission and Commissioner for the Digital Agenda in Europe gave this week an opening speech to the OKFestival 2012 in Helsinki, Finland – organised by the LOD2 partner Open Knowledge Foundation (OKFN).
Excerpt from the respective OKFN blog post: ‘Today Neelie gave a virtual address for participants at OKFestival, one of the largest open knowledge events to date. The event has convened over 800 open data, open content and open access advocates in Helsinki for six days of talks, workshops and hackathons. In her talk Neelie highlights the European Commission’s commitment to policies, projects and funding to support open data and open access, including for public sector information, cultural data, science and research. Her address closes with the following remarks: I know you at the OKFestival don’t need convincing about the benefits of openness, nor about the huge innovation that it can fuel. Rest assured, the EU is behind you.’
At the end of her speech she mentioned the LOD2 project as follows: ‘Fourth, we will of course continue to support research related to open data. Like the LOD2 project, using open source software to help people publish linked data.’
The LOD2 team is very happy about this reference!
The CKAN data portal software now has fully integrated output of metadata as RDF linked data, in XML or N3 format. To see it at work, simply add the appropriate prefix to the URL for a dataset. For example, here is a dataset on the DataHub (as it happens, part of the LODcloud). Would you like an XML RDF file of the metadata? here it is!
Instead of changing the URL, you can also change the “Accept:” header of your HTTP request. For full details, see the CKAN documentation. The new feature is already live on the DataHub, and will be released soon as part of CKAN 1.6.1.
I am in Vienna, along with my colleague Ira, for a plenary meeting of the assorted partners of the LOD2 project. LOD2 is an EU-funded research project on Linked Open Data, the vision of an interlinked web of data known to many from Tim Berners-Lee’s TED talk. The meeting runs for 3 days, in which there will be discussions about the various work packages, but I have been given the task of blogging about the opening introductory session on Wednesday afternoon. (Full disclosure: I have received a handsome LOD2 mug as advance payment for my efforts.) The Open Knowledge Foundation is one of the partners, because the pan-European CKAN data portal publicdata.eu is part of the project. But being personally a relative newcomer, I was looking forward to finding out in this introductory session what the project is really all about.
Delegates at the LOD2 plenary
Sören Auer, the project co-ordinator, kicked off, giving an overview of the overview. He described the lifecycle of Linked Data, from extraction (from other structured or unstructured data) through to linking in to existing data, enrichment (perhaps by adding more structure), to the point where it can be explored for interesting patterns. For each stage in the lifecycle, there are tools being developed by the project – many are already released. Collectively these tools, which are all Open Source, form the LOD2 ‘stack’. Sören also mentioned some recent milestones, including a Serbian CKAN portal holding a lot of data in RDF, the native format for Linked Data; and a planned new data-oriented conference, the European Data Forum.
The tools: Work Packages 2-6
WP2: Optimising the store
Peter Boncz of CWI spoke about Work Package 2. (What happened to WP1, you ask? It was a prototype which finished earlier in the project.) WP2 concerns Virtuoso, the database part of the LOD2 stack. The challenge with RDF is to make a database that runs efficiently with huge quantities of data, as the potential for rich interlinking means the data is not neatly segmented into tables as in a normal database. A lot of progress has already been made, and he hopes that Virtuoso 7 will be released soon. It will be structured to enable better compression (speeding up processing by reducing I/O), and use adaptive caching to try to minimise the number of queries that need to be done more than once.
WP3: Getting the data
Jens Lehman of AKSW at the University of Leipzig was next, talking about WP3 on ‘extraction, enrichment and repair’: the creation of Linked Data from existing structured or unstructured sources, its enrichment with suitable taxonomies to describe it, and detecting inconsistencies or other problems with its structure. If that sounds like a wide-ranging package, it is: as Jens told me later over dinner (not entirely seriously), ‘anything that doesn’t fit in one of the other packages gets stuffed into WP3′! There are currently over 20 tools playing a role in this stage, including Natural Language Processing techniques for extracting data from free text.
WP4: Creating links
Next up was Robert Isele of the Freie Universität Berlin. WP4 aims to enrich RDF data by adding links to other data sources, as well as linking data together by identifying duplicate entities within or between datasets. Automatic tools suggest links that a user can confirm or reject. WP4 also includes work to create an RDF-enabled version of the open source data cleaning tool Google Refine.
WP5: User interfaces
Sean Policarpio of DERI reported on WP5 on browsing, visualisation and authoring interfaces. He demonstrated geospatial data on a map, filtered with a structured (faceted) search – combining the power of Linked Data with a mapping search like Google Maps. Associated with this, they have produced a ‘semantic authoring’ tool, allowing the user to add or edit Linked Data via the map. Their next tasks are to implement ‘social semantic networking’ – for example, notifications based on semantic content – and mobile interfaces for their semantic tools.
WP6: Integrating the tools
Finally, the engaging and very Belgian Bert van Nuffelen of TenForce spoke about WP6, which aims to make the various disparate tools in the LOD2 stack play nicely together. They have worked on making it easier for users to install the stack tools, a shared interface and shared authorisation using WebID. They have also recently released an intermediate version of the stack (version 1.1) with new and upgraded tools and better documentation.
By now it was 3 o’clock and, against all expectations, the meeting was ahead of schedule. So we had a relatively luxurious half-hour break for tea. Your correspondent and another relative newcomer, Jan from Tenforce, took the opportunity to get some fresh air and a feel for the Viennese genius loci. Or should that be Ortsgeist?
The use cases
We had heard about the tools that had been, and are being, developed to manipulate Linked Data. But how will they be used? Refreshed by tea we returned to the meeting to hear about the three Work Packages concerned with use cases. Perhaps the most exciting talk of the afternoon came from Christian Dirschl of WP7 and Wolters Kluwer Germany (WKD). WKD is a legal and accountancy publisher who are already adapting and using the LOD2 stack tools to enhance their publishing business. Christian told us that ‘semantic technologies enable publishing media to create added value’, and WKD’s first release of news and media datasets created using Linked Data tools is on course for publication in April. By December they will release an interlinked version of the datasets, including links to DPpedia and further optimised tools.
Amar-Djalil Mezaour of Exalead presented the ‘enterprise’ use case WP8, an application to human resources with the aim of matching job vacancies to applicants. Some early work trying to model CVs had met criticism on the ground, among others, that the EU reviewers had doubts about volume of data freely available. WP8 has refocused its attention on job vacancies rather than CVs, for which there is plenty of data and better RDF support. They hope to release the results later this year, with vacancies ‘dashboards’ and analytics, faceted by sector, region, salary, etc, using Linked Data, and enriched with mashups with other sites such as social networks.
WP9: Government data
After a long wait in the wings, it was time for the OKF’s own Ira Bolychevsky to take centre stage at last. WP9 aims to explore the applications to making government data available and maximising its use. Its main visible output is publicdata.eu, which republishes open data from government portals throughout the European Union. publicdata.eu has recently been upgraded and repaired: it now runs the latest version of CKAN, introducing features such as data previews (like this) and – live on the DataHub and coming soon to publicdata.eu – a data API for structured data. Two subjects we hope to discuss more later in the plenary are closer integration with the LOD2 stack, and metadata standards.
Ira presenting WP9
Jindřich Mynarz briefly mentioned the new Czech CKAN portal. They have developed a detailed methodology as well as a ‘Quick Start guide’ for publishers, both of which they promise to make available in English soon (hurrah!)
Finally Vojtech Svatek of UEP gave a quick overview of WP9a, which aims to use Linked Data technology in the field of public procurement, with ontologies for public sector contracts – providing matchmaking and analytics not dissimilar from those in WP8.
A jug of wine, a loaf of bread
Perhaps the reader has read enough of Work Packages for now. Anticipating your satiety, the organisers had decided to defer the presentations from WP10-12 until Friday. In their place an outsider to the LOD2 project, Allan Hanbury, gave a lightning talk on a slightly related EU project, Khresmoi, which aims to provide useful searching tools for large medical databases.
Thus concluded the day’s business, and we all dispersed to our various hotels. The OKF contingent, along with TenForce, are staying in one just a couple of roads away. Crossing a road is hazardous in Vienna, because there are sometimes cars parked in what seems to be the middle of the road. You keep half-expecting some lights to change and the cars to zoom off. In fact they are parked between the road and the tramlines, along which long and elderly trams snake through the city.
In the evening, everyone from the day’s meetings reconvened and were whisked away on one such tram to an outlying districts of the city, for an evening at a (more or less) traditional Austrian Heurige, an untranslatable type of wine tavern. A true Heurige, Helmut from the Semantic Web Company explains to me as we hurtle along, is run by a vineyard, and gives people an opportunity to sample its new year’s crop of wine. (‘Heurige’ in Austrian German literally means ‘this year’.) It will have a licence to open for only 2 or 3 weeks a year, and when open will hang out a spray of branches and a lamp to signify the fact.
There is still some wine grown in Vienna, I am told, but most of the Viennese Heurigen are open all year round and are really just restaurants. But they recreate the atmosphere of the real thing. Patrons are served wine and a mixed plate of traditional local foods, which, for readers not familiar with Austrian cuisine, mainly consist of various kinds of sausage, potato and cabbage. They are delicious, and so is the Apfelstrudel that comes along later. The only thing I cannot recommend in Vienna is the tea. When will these foreigners learn that it must be made with boiling hot water?
To follow blogs from the LOD2 plenary, see the blog parade from the project blog.