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Data Activity Statement

The Data Activity promotes the Web as an intelligent data platform rather than as a simple distribution system for files that contain flat data with minimal description and/or with very little scope for re-use outside the original context. It enables people to use the tools, concepts and workflows with which they are already familiar to benefit from the network effect created by the axioms of openness and interoperability that underpin the Web. Value can be added to data independently by anyone at any point in the chain from creation to publication to interpretation to consumption using standardized methods (including standards created outside W3C). The working groups included in this Activity represent steps to address these aims directly, bringing the benefits of Linked Data within reach of everyone. Under the Data Activity, work will continue to complete and enhance the Semantic Web in the light of growing real-world experience and demands.

Upcoming Activity Highlights

The launch of the Data Activity sees the continuation of several Working Groups together with the chartering of two new ones and renewed effort in existing areas.

Data on the Web Best Practices

The mission of the Data on the Web Best Practices Working Group is:

  1. to develop the open data ecosystem, facilitating better communication between developers and publishers;
  2. to provide guidance to publishers that will improve consistency in the way data is managed, thus promoting the re-use of data;
  3. to foster trust in the data among developers, whatever technology they choose to use, increasing the potential for genuine innovation.

The guidance will take two forms:

This WG will also be supported by a series of 5 workshops run under an EC-funded 'Thematic Network,' called Share-PSI, that includes more than 40 partners from 25 countries, focused on implementation of the revised European PSI Directive.

CSV on the Web

The mission of the CSV on the Web Working Group is to provide technologies whereby data dependent applications on the Web can provide higher interoperability when working with datasets using the CSV (Comma-Separated Values) or similar formats. The group will define mechanisms for interpreting a set of CSVs as relational data. This will include the definition of a vocabulary for describing tables expressed as CSV and locatable on the web, and the relationships between them.

Now is a good time for standardization because there has already been some experimentation by organizations such as the Open Knowledge Foundation and Google but the relevant parties are not (yet) locked in to particular solutions.

Vocabulary Management

In order to increase the widespread interoperability of data, the W3C will promote its existing ability to support the development and management of vocabularies. This includes:

These essential building blocks are already in place but need to be promoted and, in some cases, clarified.

Geospatial Data

On behalf of the Smart Open Data project, W3C, in partnership with the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), the UK Government Linked Data Working Group, Google and Ordnance Survey, is running a workshop on Linking Geospatial Data. It will address questions such as: how can geographic information best be integrated with other data on the Web? How can we discover that different facts in different data sets relate to the same place, especially when 'place' can be expressed in different ways and at different levels of granularity?

Summary of Activity Structure

GroupChairTeam ContactCharter
Data Activity Coordination GroupPhil ArcherChartered until 30 July 2016
RDFa Working Group
Manu SpornyIvan HermanChartered until 30 September 2013
Semantic Web Health Care and Life Sciences Interest GroupCharles MeadEric Prud'hommeauxChartered until 31 August 2014
Semantic Web Interest GroupDan BrickleyIvan HermanChartered until 30 July 2016
RDF Working Group
David Wood, Guus SchreiberIvan Herman, Sandro HawkeChartered until 30 June 2014
Linked Data Platform (LDP) Working Group
Arnaud Le HorsEric Prud'hommeaux, Yves LafonChartered until 1 June 2014
Government Linked Data Working Group
Bernadette Hyland, Hadley BeemanSandro HawkeChartered until 31 December 2013
Data on the Web Best Practices Working Group
Hadley Beeman, Yaso Córdova, Steve AdlerPhil ArcherChartered until 30 July 2016
CSV on the Web Working Group
Dan Brickley, Jeni TennisonIvan HermanChartered until 30 July 2016

This Activity Statement was prepared for TPAC 2013 per section 5 of the W3C Process Document. Generated from group data.

Phil Archer, Data Activity Lead

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