What is the LOD2 project?
What does it aim to do?
In short, LOD2 aims to develop and improve core pieces of technology for working with linked data. While there are plenty of tools out there for publishing and working with linked data, LOD2 aims to make some key components faster, better and easier to use.
What is the Open Knowledge Foundation doing on the project?
While we’ll be contributing to lots of different bits of the project, the main thing we’re doing is working on PublicData.eu, which is part of Work Package 9. PublicData.eu will bring together open government data from local, regional and national public bodies in many different European member states.
It will be partly based on the open-source CKAN software, which currently powers data.gov.uk and over 20 other data catalogues around the world. Broadly speaking, the idea is to aggregate information about datasets from numerous different sources and serve this all up from a single place.
Why is the Open Knowledge Foundation doing this project?
The Open Knowledge Foundation exists to promote open knowledge in all its forms – from scientific information, to public spending data to the cultural commons. Since our inception we’ve been very keen to promote the idea of open data, particularly open government data.
Making open government data easier to find and reuse is at the core of LOD2 Work Package 9, which we are leading. We also have had a long term interest in developing tools to support the collaborative development of data, much like some of the tools that are now used in open-source software development. The LOD2 project gives us the opportunity to substantially improve some of the tools that we’ve been working on, such as CKAN.
Why does this blog exist? How is it different from the main LOD2 blog?
The main LOD2 blog is aimed at pulling together noteworthy developments from across the whole project. This blog (lod2.okfn.org) will only focus on what the Open Knowledge Foundation is doing, and will be a place for day to day working notes, ideas, and reflections about what we’re up to on the project.
It is broadly aimed at a general audience interested in this area (with some more technical postings), and will not presume too much detailed technical knowledge (e.g. about linked data technologies, programming, metadata standards and so on). Some material may be cross-posted to the main LOD2 blog, if it is of more general interest.
Will PublicData.eu only focus on ‘Linked Data’?
No! PublicData.eu will publish all kinds of freely reusable datasets, from humble Excel and lowly CSV to XML, KML, JSON and whatever else is out there. It will also include collections of documents (such as legal texts and parliamentary transcripts) not just datasets and databases.
I work in government and I’m interested in talking to you more about what you’re doing. How can I get in touch?
Great! We’d love to hear from you. In the first instance you can contact our public open-government mailing list. If you want to contact us privately please see the OKFN contact page for details as to where to direct your request.
Can I reuse the stuff you’re developing as part of this project?
Yes please! Everything we contribute to the project will be fully open source (under the AGPL) and we are very keen to have others reusing, modifying and contributing back to the code. For now most things will probably be made available on via the CKAN mercurial repository (details and documentation are available on the CKAN software site).
Can you help me start a data catalogue?
Yes, we most certainly can. If you’re interested in starting one you can contact the CKAN team.
I really wish there was an official data catalogue like data.gov/data.gov.uk/data.gov.X in my country. Is there anything I can do?
Yes! Several countries in Europe now have ‘unofficial’ data catalogues created by ordinary citizens who want to find out what freely reusable datasets are out there. If you’re potentially interested in being involved in such an initiative (or you’d like to be updated if there are relevant developments in your country) you can contact the open-government mailing list.
I live outside the EU but I’m interested in open government data and what you’re doing as part of this project. Are you interested in open government data in non-EU countries too?
While the scope of LOD2 is limited to European countries, the Open Knowledge Foundation works to promote open government data internationally. If you’re interested in open government data please do drop us a line, either by contacting us directly or joining and introducing yourself on our public open-government list.
Where should I go if I want to talk to the project team, make detailed suggestions or write code?
If you want to participate more actively in what we’re doing, you are more than welcome to come and say hello on one of our public mailing lists:
- If you’re more interested in CKAN, you might like to join the ckan-discuss or ckan-dev list.
- If you’d like to discuss the LOD2 project more broadly, you might like to join the public lod2 mailing list.
- If you’re interested in open government data more generally, you might like to join our international open-government list or, if your interest is more EU focused, our euopendata list.