I went to Paris this week to give a talk at SemWeb.Pro, an event that, like SemTechBiz in Silicon Valley or SEMANTiCS in Germany/Austria, is firmly established in the annual calendar. These are events where businesses and other ‘real world’ users of Semantic Web and Linked Data technologies come together as distinct from events like ISWC/ESWC where the focus is more on academic research. Both types of event are essential for the health of data on the Web in my view.
Business use of open data, that is: freely available, openly licensed data, remains relatively low key. In Paris this week we heard about the BNF‘s use of Linked Data which, as Emmanuelle Bermes told me, is driven largely by the gains in internal efficiency rather than providing open data for others. Sure, you can have the data if you want but how else would BNF curate and maintain rich data on an author like Jules Verne so easily without Linked Data?
Can we encourage the commercial use of open data? Former European Commissioner Neelie Kroes famously said that data is the new oil. There are claims that public sector information/open data is worth many billions of Euros to industry and that developers are itching to get their hands on the data, unleashing a tidal wave of creativity.
We’ll be testing that at an event in Lisbon next month. There will be almost no presentations but a great many conversations held in unconference style looking at issues like licensing, running hackathons, start up funding, making data multilingual and more. The workshop is the latest being run under the Share-PSI 2.0 network, co-funded by the European Commission. It is perhaps no surprise therefore that one of the few plenary presentations will be from the Deputy Head of Unit at DG CONNECT’s Data Value Chain, Beatrice Covassi.
Check out the agenda and, if you can, please join us in Lisbon in December. Naturally, it’s free, but do please register.