eGovernment Interest Group F2F2 - Day 1

12 Mar 2009

See also: IRC log


see list of registered participants
kevin, john
karen, josema


<Owen> I was planning to Skype into the telecon but don't see how to enter the conference code in Skype. If I can't figure out how to do it, I will only be dialing in for limited parts of the meeting on my cell phone.

<josema> ok, owen

<josema> we'll start shortly

<josema> people still coming in

<Owen> I don't understand what "aacc" means in the phone number. I thought it might mean the access code but I tried it and got the wrong number.

<josema> scribe: josema


[jose goes through slides, will be posted online and linked from agenda]

[kevin goes through slides, will be posted, too]

<Karen> eGov F2F meeting at AIA, Washington, DC

<Karen> Jose Alonso welcomes everyone and provides brief overview of W3C

<scribe> scribe:Karen

Kevin Novak reviews agenda for the next two days

Kevin: Why are we here?

Topics include: participation and citizen engagement

data integration

Kevin: day one is "provocation"; discussion
... speaker panel to get discussion started
... use of social media
... John Sheridan, UK and eGov co-chair
... to lead that session
... data integration in afternoon
... day two to begin to address solutions, approaches, and next steps
... other topics tomorrow
... data management
... Today's speakers: Beth Noveck, The White House
... Ellen Miller, Sunlight Foundation
... and Steve Ressler, Govloop


Beth Noveck (Office of Science and Technology Policy, The White House)

[Beth begins by thanking everyone's participation and acknowledges the W3C eGov published document]

[excited that this work is starting because of Obama Administration's commitment to create open and transparent government]

Beth Noveck: to create a "connected democracy"
... work I do and work I focus on
... with others throughout government
... is to develop policy innovations
... end goal to create effective and accountable government
... review some of our initiatives
... First, Transparency
... creating open gov't in terms of operations and data
... so the "putting Chris Dorobek out of business" agenda
... so there will be no more leeks, everything will be published online


Beth: enable performance effectivenesss, greater accountability, engagement
... we are committed to publish information online
... working with CIO's office and CIO counsel
... to set up policies
... data.gov project
... Vivek is probably speaking about that at FOSE right now
... make that raw data available
... get it online
... we need you to do that work
... to get that information out there
... about tracking accountability, and also economic development in terms of creating new jobs
... Recovery.gov is another flagship project
... I hope George Thomas will speak about this; he is here
... look at how we move the institution of government
... toward publishing information
... Second, Participation
... not just lip service and hand waving
... not weight in after the fact
... but to bring expertise into the decision-making process
... we have to drive toward this goal
... meaninful forms to drive contributions into policy making
... notice and common rule making
... some of traditional structure
... and look at new models that technology enables
... but also not to exclusion of other models
... we are experimenting with ways to create those opportunities
... it will take experimentation and innovation
... parallel work with CIO council
... GSA and its citizenwide services office
... that kind of reinvention and better delivery of services
... Rulemaking
... fundamental democratic right
... to decision-making
... strongly committed to an effective rul-making strategy
... I commend you to invest expertise here
... create attention; look at new structures
... deliberate intention for collaboration
... idea to engender better cooperation
... across all levels
... and across public and private sector
... innovative path to have more collaboration
... develop solutions to work together
... why we are bringing groups into The White House
... how we do the work across the gov't
... be far more collaborative to bring people together
... so data.gov needs to work with W3C
... work with datasets, help develop standards
... take that data and mash it up
... make it useful once it's posted
... and need a feedback loop once data is posted
... so we use the data to make better decision


Beth: on participation side, not just about better APIs
... need your input, craft usecases
... another feedback loop to implement changes
... again to drive to better decision making
... Focus is not only citizen to gov't approach
... to put data out there and do stuff with it
... but also citizen to citizen mechanism to solve problems
... invite public to develop solutions
... use technology to solve collective problems
... Coming here at a preliminary point in this process
... we will be anxious to hear more; watch the wiki

Kevin: questions?

Rick Murphy, GSA

RM: I wonder what Office of Science Technology's view is
... of the emergence of a market around gov't data
... and what percent for supporting small and medium businesses

[missed first two]

Beth: I don't have answers yet
... if you do, please share
... putting gov't data online does help to create businesses
... so it's not only a notion of transparency
... the goal is to have people use it
... to have people who want to create businesses do so
... and create social, market opps
... wonderful provocation
... GSA partnered in this effort, invite you to take it on

Rick: I certainly have some thoughts, although not well considered
... I think social production would take up large percentage
... of emerging marketin
... small businesses would be impacted
... my concern is that it's great to have a contest to provide $20K
... and you get a lot of small applications
... but that is a narrowly defined response to a large supply of data

Beth: Are we goint to hear about Apps for America?

Rick: I think there is a demographic to that, which needs to be well understood
... as the market for gov't data emerges

Brand Niemann, EPA

Brand: yesterday Chris Rassmussen issued an interesting challenge
... he challenged the new federal CIO to do this
... to challenge how the big IT dollars are spent
... for three reasons
... to show authority
... to show we are changing course
... and to pre-empt some money

Beth: I'm laughing because that's a true throw-down to the challenge of large IT systems
... so we work on policy in tandem with CIO Office
... we have been doing this for one month
... we don't get to the transparent, participatory and collaborative gov't
... without attacking from several angles
... Vivek is talking about Cloud Computing at FOSE I'm sure
... attack from technical, cultural perspectives
... willingness to share data, to take critique
... attack from procedural and process angle
... great tech systems are nice, but need processes
... what goes first, second
... and also from a policy angle
... remove policy and regulatory impediments and barriers
... So yes, we need these things to work in tandem
... and bridge across the institutions
... and bridge across large IT systems
... and the cultural issues, too

Suzanne Acar, Federal Data Architecture Subcommittee

Suzanne: thank you for sharing and reviewing The President's memo
... any insights from what other countries have done?
... I just met with a number of countries yesterday

Beth: There is an active CIO group that meets
... conference call yesterday to talk about what the transformational efforts are
... we are learning and informed by efforts around the work
... UK Information Task Force
... and Ministry of Transformational Gov't
... Canada has interesting efforts
... Australia has citizen participation initiatives
... the echo was that we are furthest along
... in terms of statements of data transparency
... has to do with copyright concept
... for variety of cultural reasons, we are different places
... so there are things we can all learn
... we committed to continue these conversatoin
... efforts of W3C can be very helpful to keep this going

Daniel Bennett, advocatehope.org

Daniel: I believe Italy has a mandate to publish valid HTML
... W3C has a validator tool to do this
... government publishes vast amounts of data
... but seems to be challenged to publish valid HTML
... it would be a great help to have both human readable
... and machine processable data
... so that would be a good gov't rule

<Owen> I contacted Skype and got instructions on how to enter the conference ID and am now listening via Skype.

kevin: so to give a plug to former life at Library of Congress
... challenging to see what are right positions
... not everyone understands what to do technically
... to educate technical resources about quality standards for the Web

Diane Mueller, XBRL International

Diane: we have worked across gov't agencies and jurisdictions
... Canada, Spain, Netherlands, Australia
... we have worked on developing common data sets
... XBRL to describe financial data
... needs to have common set of valid tags so that we can consume it
... the mapping of the disparate federal data makes it difficult
... some countries have a standard language to map against
... to avoid mapping against disparate data sources

Speaker: Crown Copyright issue

<Owen> NIST has an XML schema and content validation service: http://www.mel.nist.gov/msid/XML_testbed/validation.html

Speaker: information being quoted in articles
... will anyone be doing an informational campaign
... to get these messages out?

Beth: I am writing down every and all suggestions
... WhiteHouse.gov has posted a policy
... like a copyright information policy
... clearly states that the govt does not hold the copyright
... and allow work to be reused
... so would be good to have a campaign to educated
... and I was an IP professor until recently
... so a good suggestion; I can give good lectures about copyright law


Beth: yes, we should make these messages clear

John Sheridan, W3C eGov Co-Chair, Sytems Strategy for UK Public Sector Information

John: I have been involved with one third of the task force
... that produced the recent recommendations
... I have been pretty busy
... the copyright issue is complex
... one of learnings we have had
... we are responsible for Crown Copyright
... even when data is allowed to be use
... the data is not always clean
... have to also handle third-party rights
... gov't operates in an information eco-system
... so how to think even when gov't does not claim IP
... how we think about expression; interoperability
... how this plays with other information made available
... and assertions being made by one agency or another
... I don't think we would advocate our historic model
... position in terms of IP in US
... means you can move potentially much faster
... you don't have the hamstring to unhook agencies
... that have historically charged for information
... that has been a source of revenue
... so this connects back to creating new markets

<Daniel_Bennett> btw I helped get US. legislation include lack of copyright by adding Dublin Core rights piece into the XML version

John: We do better at doing admin tasks
... should allow others to do that innovation
... the big issue technically
... we have to addres rights expression
... and recognize that the data won't be pure gov't data
... it will have other stuff in it
... Anytime central gov't collects info
... each agency has its own ways to collect data
... so have tactics to deal with some of those issues
... I can give examples of where we have done it well and badly

Kevin: So these are very important issues, but need to stay on track with our speakers
... Beth, hope you can stay

Ellen Miller (Exec. Director and Co-Founder, Sunlight Foundation)

Ellen: in its third year now
... Sunlight is a coming together of the ripening of tech
... for citizens and gov't
... and redefining what disclosure means
... To begin, I feel like Alice falling down the rabbit hole
... we think of information being about money, power, and influence
... and now to have a colleague like Beth who is brining a new perspective
... on these issues
... we should thank Beth
... not only the issues but also the philosophy
... I would like to quote my friend and colleague John Steinberg
... "The most scarey thing about the Internet for government...
... it's about the lightening pace of how Internet changes expectations"
... Media shift

[Beth reads quote about collaboration, empowering people with mobile technology]

Ellen: everything is changing
... how we communicate with the public
... how public communicates with us
... information age has hit Washington
... but [jokes] "most in Washington don't know the difference between a server and a waiter"

<Rachel> Jose - audio is great, thx

Ellen: so we are in the age of the revenge of the nerds
... these people really do get it
... I was asked after a feature article to speak at HHS
... I talked about use of social networks
... I asked how many people were on Twitter
... only 3 raised their hands
... then I asked about FaceBook
... no one raised their hands; they aren't allowed to use it

[Ellen describes mission of Sunlight Foundation]

Ellen: to make work of gov't and data more transparent
... and help citizenry engage; trust and participation
... We think openness will breed more trust in officials and gov't institutions
... work serves as a catalyst to help hold gov't accoutnable
... to help citizens to be better informed and to engage
... to push for more transparent and accountable gov't
... Collective power of citizens to demand greater accountability
... so sunlight; online transparency is way to do this
... we create new tools, Web sites, digitize new data bases
... and sometimes creating new databases
... given opportunities and possibilities of this new Administration
... we cited three principles
... One, public means online
... there are many documents in this town declared public
... but they are buried in the basement
... that is not acceptalbe

Two, government transparency of gov't grants and contracts

Ellen: OMB purchased a license to purchase USAspending.gov
... it is not a non-profit's responsibility to create databases from gov't data

Third, is data quality and presentation matter

Ellen: the garbage in/garbage out problem
... for example, lobbying data
... Lobbyists have to report interesting stuff
... bills, money, etc.
... but they don't have to report whom they are lobbying
... who they met
... If I want to lobby someone at a regulatory agency
... I don't have to report that
... given concerns with lobbying, we think transparency is the antidote
... we don't have full information
... we don't have a full picture
... let's make sure we know what we need

Those three principles come from our belief that transparency builds trust

Ellen: Cites challenges

<Owen> With respect to what we need to know, it would be good if lobbyists were required to post their goals and objectives on the Web in StratML format.

Ellen: that leads to gap between public and private sector
... help drive advocacy program of Sunlight Foundation
... we are engaged in collaboration for advocacy and research
... TwitLobby
... we use Twitter to lobby members of Senate to post campaign finance reports online
... we shall see if this is a good strategy
... we digitize information in three-ring binders and post it online
... information for access
... we took earmarks a couple of years ago
... and created bubble charts of who was getting the most earmarks
... Alaska and West Virginia were getting big earmarks
... we are in busy of developing new policy recommendations
... and we do traditional lobbying
... to make use of social networking and technology
... to bring gov't into 21st Century
... When President Obama issued his memo on transparency
... We issued Our Open Gov't List
... we had some ideas that we put up
... and invited the community we have been developing and nurturing
... to participate
... so we wanted to be transparent and collaborative
... so this project is maturing
... hundreds of people are participating
... we are developing multiple suggestions
... we invite people
... We funded an open government project
... Called "Show us the data"
... invite public to tell us what are their top data leads
... I am happy to talk about other Sunlight projects
... for example contest we 'stole' with permission from Vivek
... Apps for America
... that is now underway with exciting potential
... We believe the time is right to push open the door The White House has given us
... timely and accurate disclosure of information
... a cross-partizan effort to engage citizens
... use technology to help build trust
... happy to take questions

Ellen:will you be participating in the new data.gov site?

Ellen: in any way we can, yes, we will
... don't know what that site looks like yet
... When Sunlight makes a grant to an organization, we require that the data be in open source format
... any of our work is open source and available for the taking

Ken Fischer, Potomac Forum

Ken: relating to creating a market with gov't data
... and prolific use of it
... Do we need some type of authentication system
... some mark to authenticate the data
... and track who is usin it
... what if people are not all using it for good
... what if data put up is incorrect
... then we have a debate about what is right
... should we track who uses it an authenticate the data
... it could become a free-for-all
... should we adopt Google and MapQuest methods?

Ellen: Yes, open to these ideas
... there will be some abuse of the data
... either intentional or not

<Owen> Having checked out Beth's pedigree, I looked for a strategic plan on IILP's site. Didn't see one but inferred one from the information on the site. It is now available in StratML format at http://xml.gov/stratml/index.htm#EdInstitutions

Ellen: or ways data is presented can be less accurate
... how we authenticate data is a big question
... welcome your thoughts on that
... Sunlight encourages people in this direction
... we fund a Sunlight team, or groups with long-standing reputation for developing data sets

Ellen:Ellen made my life interesting for two years at Library of Congress
... to maintain information
... there are technical solutions
... but we need to address non-technical approaches

DanielB: I would like to vehemently disagree
... I know there is digital signature
... in US we have the first amendment
... we have people who lie about data all the time
... but it's a separate question of trustin whether you are on a gov't Web site
... and authenticate the raw data
... Verify what THe Constitution actually says, versus what someone else says

Suzanne: Back to data sets via data.gov
... Federal CIOs under Vivek's oversight
... produced a memo yesterday
... for three to five consumable data sets
... to provide these by next Tuesday
... how those data sets are validated
... how they get posted on data.gov is unknown
... will Sunlight play a role?

Ellen: we have not yet, but would be open
... have to be patient
... a lot of experimentation will go on
... some things we will get right, others not
... I don't think we should wait for data.gov to get fully architected
... Recovery.gov is a good case
... we have made a number of recommendations
... our number one, is give us the raw stuff [data]
... and we can take it to the next level
... raw stuff plus machine-readable formats
... for the data
... and then create some tools for easy user interface, that would be enough
... I have seen a critique of Recovery.gov
... I think it's too soon; we need to appreciate the work that's being done
... not judge "too soon", but not sure what that timeline is
... for example disclosure forms of appointees not yet available
... I have alerted some people to that

Suzanne: That totally resonates
... It is the subcommittee's recommendation to start small
... put something out there
... go incrementally

John Wonderlich, Sunlight Foundation: good to praise the CIO Council for putting out that memo

JohnW: next, based on spending bill
... language directing agencies for bulk data access
... GPO and others are looking at data authentication
... echo that when members of Congress started to use email
... they were concerned about others editing their messages
... so that's similar situation
... as long as original source information is available
... that helps to reduce risk

Daniel: hard to explain to people that lying about stuff is not a problem

Chris Doborek: Regarding Recovery.gov

ChrisD: people feel like Niagara Falls is coming at them
... they have 15-20 year old systems
... my concern is with career folks to disappear into their shells
... I am happy to see CIO Council looking at quick wins
... but it is a monumental mind set change
... for most gov't agencies
... to publish raw data
... and not go through many processes

Mark: three quick points
... some W3C work about use of data
... Ellen, thanks for great work at Sunlight
... when there is more data made available
... not always case that everyone can take advantage of that data
... may be some well coordinated interestes
... so it would be valuable to encode policy
... so it's released into public domain
... ability to allow less coordinated interests
... to have access to gov't policy in executable form
... I call that smart policy
... Third point
... to talk about presumption that raw data is what we need
... useful in the W3C context
... one of the principals of Semantic Web
... is that URIs can be specified in a persistent form
... John Sheridan has a use case
... so if Tim Berners-Lee were here
... he would probably say gov't has a role in specifying URIs
... some work has been done in gov't data in RDF

Kevin: I would like to hold questions now
... we need to discuss these topics in sessions

Beth: I need to host another meeting
... please excuse me
... I will follow Chris' Tweet

Kevin: thank you very much, Beth

Steve Ressler (Govloop)

Steve: cool thing Ellen mentioned is "revenge of the nerds"
... or "the rise of the Rasmussen"

Steve: we have always had Town Halls
... now we are going to do that online
... with a turbo-charged rocket
... a few years ago I came to gov't
... and tried to figure out things
... with a few friends
... discovered that essentially people want to talk to each other
... and hear about the work they are doing
... As part of young gov't leaders
... like W3C, you have smart people coming together
... great people, great conversations
... ICA-IT in Seoul, Korea
... great ideas and great conversation
... but key is that you have to be invited
... get permission to go
... but then sometimes conversations die down
... so Govloop idea is for information sharing
... whether city manager, or state, nat'l person
... launched eight months ago
... we have 7200 members right now
... the value is the stories you hear
... no place to do that already
... one lady in HR in NIH
... had a boss who asked for pay grade analysis across other agencies
... if you don't have a rolodex, it's difficult
... so she posted responses and got answers in about an hour
... in the UK, you post a report, and suddenly people are dialoguing
... you bring more voices to the table
... and connect communities
... meet new people
... a former journalist who has really smart thoughts
... emerging as a gov2.0 leader
... people jumping into these communities
... and get access to public service people at high levels
... we are going to see interesting developments over years
...new cool ideas
... and I'm happy to be a part of it and part of the conversation
... so pass the word, join in, ping me on Twitter

Jose: Any questions?

Daniel: Comment
... I am a rookie with 25 points
... I appreciate it
... it's an interesting, out of band communications tool
... I have been starting to take a look at

Chris: you can bribe him for points [laughs]

Steve: it's an informal network
... so some people can only comment inside the firewall
... so I sent an email to encourage inside folks to engage
... great opportunity to have two communities tap in

Daniel: does it allow you to syndicate to them inside?

Steve: Govloop is based on platform with limited functionality
... so not yet
... integrate with open social and open id
... maybe down the line

Brand: Can you support data posting functions?
... maybe you and others could encourage posting of data
... then could be federated

Steve: I have so many hours in the day, but would welcome some other folks to hack with me

[Break for ten minutes]

<josema> scribe:josema

[only summarized topics from now on]

Participation and Citizen Engagement, Use of Social Media

see http://www.w3.org/TR/2009/WD-egov-improving-20090310/#pe

[john is reviewing the issues raised there]

you might also want to follow http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23w3cegov

[discussion on context of communications and roles of public employees]

Daniel: elected officials have an opportunity to better educate citizens about multiple roles and hat
...for example, officials have to comply with laws and policies when wearing official hats using gov't resources

Laura Lee Dooley, World Resources Institute

Laura:I am seeing a real need for training
...what are these tools, how do we use them
...how do we listen, what is an RSS feed?
...and they are thinking about how to use social media to communicate ith their communities

Kevin: Are you hearing that those certain tools?
...are there certain things we should focus on?
...or is it a more global questions

[need of training the public servants comes up again]

[W3C Workshop on the Future of Social Networking]

George Thomas, GSA

Daniel: what is W3C's role in social media, linking gov't data
...looking forward to discussion later today on data integration
...Need for clarify of terms; what all this means

[Report at: http://www.w3.org/2008/09/msnws/report

see section on Next Steps]

Jose: W3C is working on starting a Future of Social Networking Group
...we will be working on a number of issues
...eGov will have coordination with the social networking group

George: interoperability standards to overcome walled gardens with social media is good
...wanted to give message about urgency of now

Jose: Discussing my two hats last evening
...W3C work for eGov, and consulting work for my CTIC institute
...what I am seeing is a lot of gov't people coming to our institute
...because of high interest in social media, hype around it
...there is a need to address strategy
...what they need to use social media for
...then don't understand how to best use the right tools

Rick: So here is a suggestion for a social media use case
...we talked about cool URIs
...we should talk about cool memes
...meme is a unit of cultural information that is copied from place to place

George: so connect tags more directly

Brand: I hear the news headlines about challenging economy

<OAmbur> If a strategy is drafted for addressing the use of social media by .gov folks, I will be glad to render it in StratML format.

Brand: and the W3C eGov charter
... and then the real world
... for example, get enterprise architects out there talking to people

<josema> Btw, Tim's talk at TED, on Social Networks' Walled Gardens and Linked Data; http://www.w3.org/2009/Talks/0204-ted-tbl/

Brand: we are in a global depression
... maybe we need to focus on these bigger issues
... what else could we do to help people?

<OAmbur> Yes, Karen, I am listening via Skype.

Brand: and of course use social networking tools
... I would like to suggest a higher vision
... So for some, WWW is furthest from their mind
... So maybe we need to think more about them
... we can work out technical details to serve the higher good

Kevin: So many things to think about, also disability
... and access in general
... what is the tangible focus?

Brand: get out of your office and look at real world problems
... what do homeless people need for example

Kevin: not to be on a social soapbox
... we are priviledged here
... worked on World Digital Library project
... challenges in other parts of the world to get access

Diane: coming out of social networking community
... is the tagging of metadata
... and how this brings up issues
... that is a big thing going on in Canada
... especially issue of homelessness in Vancouver with Olympics

<josema> Here's another relevant bit from the developing world: http://www.ushahidi.com/

Diane: So W3C's role is to create the technologies
... and help surface issues before they become a critical mass
... get information out, help people
... hearing great stories from crises
... get to data faster
... surface issues up
... raise the visibility and get a critical mass
... not sure we will do device independence in the sub-Sahara
... not sure if it's tech, hardware, what issue

Ken: social media tools and techniques
... also about creating trust
... so in the financial community, there is a huge lack of trust all the way around
... need to build trust

Chris Jerdonek, Granicus, Inc.

[missed comment]

John: tools we need inter-related to these issues

Ben Barnett, Media Bureau

Ben: I can't help wonder if we are reaching for the stars
... following blogging for some time
... are we asking the right questions
... what do we need to get standardized
... will that ever happen; that we get things standardized?
... the debate on blogging and micro blogging
... is good use case
... of directions social networking can take
... as a futurist and technologist,
... this could take place at any time
... and of course things get out of date

JohnW:Wonder what other int'l orgs W3C is laising with

Jose: we have liaisons with a number of groups
... Daniel Dardailler attends these high-level policy meetings
... what we are looking to do is bridge conversations between policy and technical people

Diane: "where's the beef?
... I love the commentary, the tweets, etc.
... but I want the data
... we are not seeing the ability to drill down on AIG
... what happened, then share the information
... blogs are infomrative
... but I don't have the grounding in the source data for the comments
... that's the missing link
... that's where W3C could help
... connect the discussion to the source data
... and connect to data.gov
... with my blog
... how do I get their source data, the goals and how to measure
... how to facilitate connection to source data

JohnW:Playing off Rick's idea of "cool meme"
... so a hash tag
... what people Google
... bridge common parlance and common sources
... memes for these terms is a useful idea

DanielB: another provocation
... what should a person know before they open their mouth
... people may offer opinions but don't know source material
... or they don't know how gov't works
... one of things Congress reps send out is how a bill becomes law

Laura Lee: on issue of social media

Laura: being able to ask others where information is
... you still need someone who is listening and pointing people to where the data is
... you cannot know where all the data is

John: so there is a view that gov't's role is just to push the data out
... what do people think?
... or should W3C focus on other things?

<OAmbur> Since Jose referenced Ushahidi.com, I inferred their mission and goal from their Web site and posted it in StratML format at http://xml.gov/stratml/index.htm#Other

JohnW: Refering to Princeton paper
... significant concerns about what is primary responsibility
... primary agency's responsibility is to fulfill their mission
... and providing data is part of it

Ken: the lines need to be more clearly drawn
... transparency for trust
... what are the measures for success
... that's my view
... it should be goal versus philosophy driven

DanielB: I htink there is some confusion about the word transparency
... ther is this idea that you have to be open
... role of gov't is part of a social contract
... gov't data in US

<markthomas> Princeton paper: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1138083

DanielB: for a couple hundred years, various agencies put out census info
... weather data, nothing about how gov't works
... a mirror isn't transparent
... a big role of gov't is to provide a mirror and part of its social contract
... not always to deal with how things get done
... other more fundamental role, being that mirror
... collect and redistribute that data
... to help promote commerce, health
... the word transparency doesn't get at that

Brand: At EPA some interesting developments
... we have been asked to link what we as employees do to further our strategic goals
... I asked whether gov't employees should have a wiki or blog to publish what I do for my agency
... and how those goals relate to gov't goals
... that becomes a resource; explain what I do
... I made same suggestion to the USGF
... retirees want to continue to help
... social networking would be good way to do this
... capture what they do, inform public, show value to public and taxpayer

John: That's a provocation!

Ken: So at what point is that a burden on the employee
... where is the balance between productivity and use of social media

Brand: we are strongly encouraged to keep a record of our goals and accomplishments in electronic form

Owen: Employees are expected to have an annual performance plan
... tied to agency's goals and strategic plan
... so do more of what we are required to do anyway

JohnW: So a good question, but being silly, it sounds like question of "how much should people talk at work"
... have to choose what is proper and productive
... sometimes it feels like we address new things over again

Martha Chaconas, Department of State

Martha: what does "citizen" mean?
... country citizen of govt; citizen of world
... if social aspect is open to the world, how do you ensure that the change is good for gov't putting it out
... how do you know the comments are from the citizen of that gov't

DanielB: members of Congress can ignore comments
... but rule tends to be they listen entirely to people in their jurisdiction
... unless those people represent a larger group
... Federal agencies have to put things out for public comment
... I have not heard about restrictions
... one, what are the rules; two, what about noise
... for open gov't keep the doors wider
... and worry less about jurisdictional issues
... so the quote was what....you can have openness or you can have gov't

John: Is there stuff that gov't should not be doing at all?

Ben: yes, not release bad data, evaluate what should go out
... think about what Congress person will point to
... as with any IT project, you are as good as your data

Josema: We are in provocation phase
... but are we in agreement that we think use of social media is good?
... I personally would not like to see gov't employees putting things into walled gardens
... in several countries, there are discussions about how these networks should be used by gov't employees
... should gov't create its own social network
... there is an EU use case (myParl) when creating a social network that failed
... something that only a few people use

Diane: the failure of EU social network
... plenty of people who can create apps
... but we need an open platform to access it
... easy to follow instructions about how to get the data
... appetite to build them is out there
... but need to build cost efficient applications
... hard to create clean applications
... so it's the gov'ts' job to create those platforms

Josema: so the gov't has power to help push the social media companies to do the right things?

<joec> need overall common XML structures so data can interoperate?

Josema: gov't has the content
... social networks need to clarify how they treat data
... otherwise if we replicate everywhere, we will waste money

John: show of hands for gov't pushing private sector providers to push

Alex Koudry, GSA

Alex: we have section 508 to apply to gov't technology
... for people with diabilities
... we have procurement laws that say we cannot buy platforms that are not accessible
... although it has not panned out

Brand: I was in a Web 2.0 meeting
... a new social networking work group
... said they have entered into some agreements with Google and YouTube

JohnW: I don't think gov't should regulate how people make Web sites
... but there is a different pressure
... if you want us to use it, then you need to follow these guidelines
... pressure on use of service
... other pressure is what is happening on FaceBook
... about privacy

<joec> not one us federal department website conforms to validator.w3.org

DanielB: you have brought up an extraordinary thing that makes a good point
... terms of service is a contract
... gov't enters into contrats with care
... you are agreeing to terms of service
... one of problems with Web 2.0 is speed
... moving so fast
... how do we hit this target
... what we can think about is to publish locally
... and syndicate broadly
... if you publish on your own site in a public way and you archive it
... then that is what you should do
... so then it's not tied up under terms of service
... but by publishing it locally, you declare there is no copyright
... it adds extra work for gov't
... but it covers itself in terms of section 508

Ben: not sure how it works for a Congress person
... advocate 3.0 session
... the virtual room of people going to places like Congressional office
... where content is distributed
... so whether video, or document, you go to that person's space
... I cannot see how gov't can post on all these for profit networks

Joab Jackson: the flip side

Government Computer News

Joab: is economic stimulus
... leave to private sector on how to present data
... considerations in terms of using gov't data
... let private sector figure best way to customize it

Diane: I would like to add onto that
... two issues are data quality and presentation layer
... YouTube is visual layer on top of data
... remains to be seen how people want to consume data
... I think there is more power in the network to build those visualizations
... so get high quality data that is accessible
... and that will engage people
... gov't should not dictate how to visualize that data

John: So wrap up a bit
... we moved into open gov't data

Jason Baron, Nat'l Archives

Jason: in the past 3.5 hours, there are more than 3 million emails
... within gov't agencies, none of which will be transparent
... As eGov SIG, part of W3C
... I am interested
... that we take into account the scaffolding of laws
... an obstacle is the perception
... that agencies cannot control the information flow
... if there are technical means to capture the record information, that will help
... it will help foster a range
... my larger point
... is that foundationally is that there is tremendous disconnect
... between the good thoughts in this room
... and the reality on the ground
... some public servants have no idea what a wiki is
... we need education and training
... think about electronic preservation
... the official record keeping practice in Federal Gov't is hard copy
... until this changes, it will be difficult to move to the Web
... a lot of the important data that the gov't possess

John: good point
... we talked about participation and engagement challenges
... how they are relevant for tools
... whether gov't should influence tools from private sector
... implications of gov't using tools
... and wandered into open gov't data which is focus after lunch

[See you at 2:00pm]

Open Government Data

[Jose gives summary of morning session and issues that came forward

encourages everyone to continue to bring issues and challenges forward]

Jose: John Sheridan to give a short presentation

John: starting with a quote I love
... POI task force
... has identified six issues:
...Discovery: can I find data
... Legal...am I allowed to use data
...Technical: is data in right format
...Commercial: can I afford to buy data I need
... Intelligibility: can I interpret dependencies
... what else does it depend upon
... Traditional approach to Websites; data layer
... that you cannot get at
... analysis layer that you can't get at
... and a presentation layer
... maybe valide HTML if you are lucky
... problem is that the data is all at the bottom
... you only get the presentation
... the Power of Information Architecture group
... looks at new layers
... why scrape when you can parse
... we have been active participants in contributing to linked data databases
... Semantic Web is about an intuitive Web that is a Web of documents
... and the Web of data
... RDFa
... is about links with flavour
... connects information and points to description of that information
... similar initiative is microformats
... some challenges using microformats with government
... motive to introduce people to both microformats and RDFa
... Currently working on an initiative called DirectGov
... think about RDFa as microformats for government
... a standard for data
... provides way to surface info and adapt Web site to be an API and serve the data
... RDFa is a W3C standard
... so it doesn't have issue around accessibility
... it's a technology we can evolve
... and tweak existing sites
... so we don't have to build lots of separate APIs
... Some examples how UK gov't is using RDFa
... first is public sector jobs
... gov't posts its job vacacancies on its own sites
... so if you are an electrician, how do you know whose site to review
... need to search by skill set
... so we want every dept. to publish job information
... and make the data able to be consumed
... the real benefit of this approach
... is we can aggregate data on the Web without building new systems underneath
... another example is consultations
... no place to find all the department consultations
... we are using RDFa as a way of marking up
... we want data in one place, yet we have a distributed data model
... want to have benefits of data aggregation but low costs
... this is a much lighter weight approach
... use existing Web sites and not re-engineer
... use services like Yahoo's Search Monkey
... it looks up RDFa
... lets you pick up results, for example, a job
... Another example
... how to add to the available data sources
... very easy to do in an open source content management system
... What got us down this road was a project with The London Gazette
... has been published since 1665
... King Charles II took his Court to Oxford and started this newspaper
... we have kept it going
... it is published every day
... here is the print version
... it has things like traffic notices, planning notices, move parking places on a street
... notices around water, like factories
... licensing of medicines
... insolvencies for businesses or individuals
... awards, honors
... premium bonds that have not been claimed
... this is published every day, and incredibly rich as a source of data
... hard to read; 500 printed copies go into libraries mostly

John reads long notice; it's about someone taking away a parking place

John: So what can we do to unlock this information?
... using RDFa
... notice of a company going into insolvency
... now we publish the same info in RDFa, semantically enabled
... so we put data in same context as the notice
... embed extra metadata
... so any RDFa parser can pull out the results
... or you can get data in RDF XML
... We are adding attributes inside the XHTML
... to make statements about what is in the notice
... add these attributes in the HTML mark-up
... What it means that you can move from a notice to a map
... so you can see where the parking place is being moved on a map
... Benefits of RDFa: Flexibility in how info is prsented
... while ensuring consistency of content
... improves finding the location of relevant data
... Back to some of challenges: helps us with discovery, legal, technical, intelligibility, and dependencies


Diane Mueller, XBRL

London Gazette is great example

Diane: London Gazette is great example, where is the ontology being built?

JohnS: We built about 20 ontologies
... mostly light weight
... to get to this point
... We had to build some general ontology about notices
... our approach was to build only where we had to
... also built an ontology where we didn't have the best domain expertise
... would encourage domain groups to do this
... but we are careful to use a proxy term
... because we cannot wait for everyone to do this work
... ontology, content management, to implementation
... was about 100,000 pounds sterling
... It was hard to get the funding

Brand: for The London Gazette application?
... is there a way to determine cost benefits?
... the business case
... did you have to make one?
... is there an ROI?

JohnS: it helps that part of gov't does this, also has the policy responsibility
... wanted to find low-cost tactics to make data re-usable
... so a pilot test case
... another aspect, is people have to place a small fee to place a notice
... inelastic demand; you have to place a notice
... but use of data should be reused and is free
... paper based product serves no purpose
... but as a Semantic Web enabled product, it has data that could be useful
... so that basically is the business case

Brand: is there a broader strategy to move from print to electronic delivery?

John: yes, our public policy agenda is to encourage re-use of data
... needed to find ways to demonstrate
... show how to unlock data
... rather than go to a big supplier for an expensive solution
... How do you provide access to the data and do analysis
... that was the thinking

Brand: it would be useful to have this written up somewhere
... it is part of a number of improvements you want to make
... to move towards more agile electronic delivery
... have you laid out that broader business case
... I'm wondering how you present this to managers
... can you write that up?

JohnS: the real business driver is not nec. return on investment
... it will be transformation of public service delivery outcomes
... this is about spending some of money in a different way to release data as part of an ecosystem
... that starts the public poicy drivers
... so let's look at school inspection information
... they have PDF files
... if they published in RDFa, there could be analysis of performance
... compelling business case is the public policy outcome
... then it is part of a broader solution for information sharing

DanielB: another way to approach that
... before the Web, people published things in paper
... understanding of what it means to publish has been transformed by the Web
... groups now say it's fundamentally different thing to publish on the Web
... likewise, with Semantic Web, what it means to publish has also changed
... once you do that
... in order to publish, it has to be both human and machine readable
... it's a definitional issue of what it means to publish
...new revolution is that when you publish on the Web, the data has to have Semantic information
... HTML is a presenation layer
... you just changed the definintion
... and RDFa is best way to do it from cost perspective
... my other point is that
... you are showing The London Gazette
... something that was human readable to start
... and are adding machine processable to start
... what gov't folks do is create data that is not human readable
... now the question is should they make it human readable
... Gazette was to make data machine processable
... some folks put data out that's not human readable
... for example, overlay XSL on data so it's readable by humans
... so should we also embed RDFa

JohnS: if you do the RFF, you are a long way toward achieving what you want to do
... here is another interesting example
... Directgov is similar to USAgov
... cost of tax for different types of vehicle
... I see an API
... just add to add some attributes

Daniel: So this enables data to be human readable

John: challenge to get people who only know the human-readable Web to understand the data Web
... you could make a widget with this data
... and componentize services

Daniel: so this is better because people can see it
... this becomes your API, well-specified things

Ken: to restate
... you reduce barrier to use
... by making the core data readable

<joec> we definitely need a solution that allows human and machine readability in one package otherwise the data is duplicative and possibly not identical.

Ken: in the past, data standards were barriers to see data
... a way to lower that barrier

JohnS: that seems true

Ken: yes a barrier
... the data in its core form is a barrier to use
... if I debate whether to send a URL somewhere
... to glance at URL vs. an XML format is a big difference
... removes an important barrier
... so let'shook it up now; don't have to do this now

DanielB: you mentioned Bill Gates
... he supported smart tags
... which did a lot of what microformats did
... they had built a smart tag system
... and they tried to do all themselves instead of from places that create the data

Kevin: Ed, Chris, do you want to add to this?

Ed: great to see John's presentation
... the ROI question is important because it comes up all the time
... you are boot-strapping the process

Ed Summers, Library of Congress: like early Web, how do you make the case

Ed: governments are in a unique place because they can start to boot strap things

JohnS: there was a level of risk for starting to operationalize RDFa
... before it was a W3C recommendation
... we saw the importance of its potential
... and our need to solve the core problem was so great
... we had to get going
... now, using RDFa, it's more comfortable
... there are other imlementations and it's now a W3C standard
... this is a compelling message to help people introduce this thinking and technology

Brand: I don't want to belabor ROI point
... in real world, I'll take your word for it this time for a certain level of investment
... or you get "no", this is one of many ideas..
... next, is there a way to do for free
... or, I'll trust you now
... in future, where will money come from?
... in US, print publications are going out of business
... but some are going online and recreating as community building information
... we will actively seek to engage community
... but I think you need to have the business case ROI
... otherwise it's just a technology
... need some guidance and experience for stuff

JohnS: I want to help spend x amount and you will get better schools
... make the public policy argument for open data
... that's the case being made in the UK...
... make your school inspection data open
... and see how they are performing
... that's the connection to take these things back to the outcome the gov't is trying to achieve

DianeM: add a variation on business case
... I come from a different perspective
... public entities filing with gov't regulators
... one to lessen burden on filers
... not so onerous to make those filings
... only file once
... other one we hear
... is if you look at 401K prospectus
... very difficult for consumers to get through
... have the semantic information to pop up what is an asset
... how to understand this document
... make the documents more understandable
... where sematic knowledge comes into play
... in The Netherlands they claim to be saving millions
... no longer cross-process in silos
... So file once
... instead of multiple times across organizations

Kevin: relating back to issues paper
... do we need more specific business cases?

Diane: you have to give gov't organizations the business cases
... they need help
... we found that in the XBRL world
... need to explain the use cases as well
... and the gov't organizations here can help us with the use cases
... but you have to build the argument

Ken: Seems you have to show a number of quick wins
... small wins as an end use

<josema> room will re-dial in a minute (some sound issues)

Ken: and have developers create those early on
... small ROI early on

DMurphy, BLS

DMurphy: now we have 4 million people hitting site per month
... more people can access the data

<josema> there we go

DMurphy: if you made a small incremental cost to add this functionality
... now you enable banks, other gov't agencies to more cheaply digest the data
... so for us, it may not lower the BLS costs
... these are software developmet costs
... but it brings more value to citizens and other gov't agencies

Rick Murphy, GSA: economic metrics and studies

Rick: sounds like part of an ROI and business case in a large scale
... may be possible to measure the benefit to society
... without presuming that it's with a narrowly defined financial measure

Daniel: yes, the public good is a good measure
... rather than narrow ROI case
... it costs less to not publish
... but to publish in a standard way is less expensive
... save society money
... this is a good government issue
... a case to be made
... just like a paperwork reduction act
... we should have laws that say, put stuff on Web, and make human and machine readable
... I don't think you want to do an ROI argument to make things machine and human readable

GeorgeT: JohnS seems comfortable with public good argument

Owen: ROI applied to rapidly changing technology
... investment is on behalf of the people of the USA, not just a single agency

JoeC: In WWII there were methods of operating
... data create a return on investment
... interoperability among agencies will create an ROI
... but we don't know exactly what it will be yet

Chris: yes, picking up on George's comment
... return on impact
... how do you measure the impact on issues you care about

Ken: Something called Buzz
... what I'm thinking of is creating interest and enthusiasm

<Owen> For rapidly changing technology, ROI is not the most appropriate metric. Pay-back period is. How long does it take to get back the cost -- bearing in mind the investment is being made by We the People, not just the agency in question.

Ken: if you have this, in the early stages you may not need the ROI...
... depends upon other communities to engage in these areas

Kevin: I think at some levels, it becomes a policy issue
... sometimes it depends upon who you are talking to
... there was some buzz
... after they spent a few million dollars
... the performance people starting asking questions
... agree we need to show use cases with some potential metrics
... that also equates to the public good

Ken: the amount of public good created also linked to their enthusiasm
... create that buzz and excitement so that you will get adoption

Kevin: so also watch the buzz factor

Brand: so taxpayer says we'll give you money to create public good for IT
... most goes into IT systems
... but those systems are not designed to use RDF
... much less money goes into mark-up of content
... so what we have to do is change that process
... from now on, IT systems will be marked up in this way
... and start to apply it to all the organizations and to other countries
... today, we have redoing and retrofitting challenges
... we need to change process and get ahead of this
... so new information automatically gets this capability
... Interesting side of this I have dealt with
... at Library of Congress
... metadata standards of 20 years ago no longer case now
... there is some challenge

Ed: importance of small wins is key
... any attempt to change the entire IT industry is doomed to fail
... you cannot effect change at that scale
... what John talked about
... is that he didn't have to re-engineer a database
... he just layered it
... I think it's wrong to cast what saw presented in that light

Diane: in terms of publishing RDF tags
... or XBRL tags
... people like SAP are adding in the ability to publish XBRL
... not that you have to individually wrap content
... it is becoming part of it
... there are methodologies that make it part of the publishing process
... so build the ontology for the domain
... it's part of the process and workflow

Ed: yes, thanks for clarification

Daniel: changing subject
... XHTML, if valid
... you can XSLT it into something else
... and you can put in metadata that overlaps
... so you can use more than one set of ontologies
... doing more than one standard is great
... I looked at name spaces for the ontologies
... are there schemas for the ontologies?
... So I know what is valid?
... within each one of those things, can I find out what is legitimate

JohnS: The RDFa was added to a publishing process with XML
... we have not added anything additional
... some of info is submitted through Webforms
... quality of data still where it was at
... no schemas for ontology, but schemas for the data

George: could you reiterate those 20 ontologies you spoke about
... I wonder if XML folks understand
... you may want to reiterate that

JohnS: we had a number of problems to solve
... the XML captured info about the notice
... mostly typographical
... when we moved to RDF
... we wanted to say thigns about what the notice was about
... that was a big difference in terms of what was being modeled
... you can see this yourself
... there are some generic ontologies
... some are specific to things, processes

<josema> scribe:josema

[more summarized now, due to scribe skills and participation in the session]

[there's underlying data in some cases, but releasing that data is still being moved to the publication workflow]

[some stuff, e.g. microformats don't have an XML Schema behind]

[XML vs. RDF and open world assumption]

Daniel: all government Web sites should be accessible, but more importantly don't lie about it

[conformance vs. declaration of conformance]

[short break]


[back from break]

<joec> http://www.xmldatasets.net/XRS/joinb.xml

[joe goes through the example]

<Karen> +1

[Diane on the need of having a common taxonomy across government to do this sort of transformation more automatically]

Diane: how do you get domain knowledge from the spread sheets?

Brand: We put spread sheets into natural groupings into domain
..set aside into data dictionary
...so for example, transportation and then sub-topics
...Design Pattern for publishing gov. data which is held as spreadsheets
...Use the spreadsheet natively and expose the data as RDF
...I put those in together
...Tool we have uses whatever data dictionary information you put in, or it will crank out ontology as best it can
...then you can work interactively
...tool uses a data dictionary, to build ontology, or will build ontology as best it can.
..but there is no substitute for domain expertise

JohnS: I really like what you just described as a process for government data in spreadsheets
... we can hold data natively, expose it as RDF

Brand: Brian Donnelley with Semantic Discovery has done this in the UK
... we are going to present this at the Semantic Technology conference in June in San Jose
... the other group is Lee Feigenbaum from Cambridge Semantics
... this came out of a W3C Workshop Tim Berners-Lee invited us to on RDB to RDF data
... and I emphasized challenges around spreadsheets

[?] Where is the Web Site?

Brand: SemanticAmunity.net and follow demos
... to Cambridge Semantics and Semantic Discovery
... or send me email to dialogue

Daniel: I will take a look at this
... I would like to think of Excel spreadsheets as a tool of the past
... they don't deal with complex objects the way XML does
... would be interesting to see the mapping
... RDF seems to love columnar data; but I need to look at this more

<josema> example Brand referred to: http://www.cambridgesemantics.com/semanticexchange/

Daniel: the part of standardization is important
... look at US code title section
... those are two different things
... one is a number, one is numbers and letters
... so you can build and XML schema for those two pieces
... and build a schema for public law
... and have name space for US code
... and same things for legislations
... separate Congress bill type, legislation
... that would allow you to build tables
... so then you can build the links
... once you build table to the join
... have each column have links to various repositories to sources of information
... so looks like a data dump
... but it gets you to place to find a way to ifnd info in various repositories
... link US code, stored by Law Revision Council at Cornell
... and create link to each one of those
... to bill where it's housed at GPO and Thomas
... so by putting these numbers in these columns, you enable interoperability
... another aspect that is not clear from this example
... because it's stored in this way...
...someone else could create a widget
... and link to any place on the Web
... so this is a way to pivot
... about info about bill before it was law
... and another person talking about it as it appears in the US code
... so this could allow for interoperability

Chris: so you are really talking about facilitating data discovering and integration
... when data gets transferred, there is a reasonability piece
... various operations at the end point before it gets to Thomas
... but also want to see that ladder type of interoperability
... so business process is also a key challenge
... how do we support executives in the agencies to move in that direction?

Daniel: interoperability supports this
... when you hop to value-add folks
... to newspaper articles, for example
... this provides interoperabilty
... to take the designations
... and atomize
... you are talking about an important but separate process of interoperability
... you need them both, yes

Joe: Chris, I think that these tables and what gov't has done
... these paper tables have been used to interoperate data in books
... and we go back and forth between these two tables
... so the question for gov't is to understand the new medium
... called the Internet
... we know this data is other guy's data
... we have only put it up for human readability
... that's the bottom line on the interoperability issue
... Another issue
... look at XML version of spread sheets
... wonder why you chose that; store pure XSL formats on Internet
... your idea of using Excel is an excellent one

Kevin: He left for day

Diane: I have been living in Excel spreadsheet "hell" for many years
... the new formats available and new Web 2.0 formats will help break that grip
... there are tools to do this
... embed and transform data in and out of Excel
... the Excel spreadsheet use throughout the gov't is a barrier
... trying to move them into new formats is a difficult task
... what John has done, to extract metadata and reuse that
... this is where we will see that shift from rows and columns to hyper cubes and rich visualizations
... as we see these apps develop, we may break the Excel stranglehold

Joe: we have not done enough of that
... they are so busy
... if they could just convert the data to something that is interoperable across agencies, they would do it
... we are loading them down with many ways to do this
... I would hope W3C IG would say, do it this way
... a lot of Excel data out there; we should try to make it interoperable

Daniel: Microsoft's new version is XML

Joe: these Excel files can be saved as XML
... nothing is perfect

Diane: it's all about how you publish it
... we can work with software vendors
... to publish to XML or enhanced
... get the data out and make it accessable; round trip it and make it useful
... right now it's in lock down mode

Daniel: smart tags
... MS made a huge mistake trying to do it themselves, but the idea was ahead of its time
... they didn't look at other standards
... but idea of embedding microformats in the data was smart
... and they had put it into XHTML smart tags as a name space
... and IE could act on it, much like the widgets you talked about
... there was such an uproar that they took it out
... we sometimes fight the same battles over and over
... some people are ahead of the game

Ed: Technorati started microformats, a guy who worked on IE

Diane: So we're at end of day, where do go from here?
... we are in violent agreement about some of the issues around interoperability
... get the data out there to do comparisons across entities
... do the joins that Joe has shown us
... use existing ontologies in the gov't to do that
... how do we percolate this information
... and make this something that the W3C pushes forward

JohnS: conversation I was having offline
... thinking about we can do as a group to promote some of these things
... there are design camps
... if you are in these similar situations
... from a gov't perspective
... so if you have a beefy Excel spread sheet to serve up
... or you have XHTML tables to serve up as data
... that we can start to work with
... if you are this place, then we will find someone who has attacked this problem
... we probably have three or four of those identified
... if they are resonating from UK and US perspective
... I'll take it as indemic
... design patterns
... possible use cases; a useful activity to explore as a W3C group

Joe: agree with john

Diane: one more comment on those Excel spreadsheets
... from audit perspective
... I come from that domain

Diane: what we want to do is to get to the granular detail in those spread sheets
... imagine in Recovery.gov
... data that goes out to recipient
... and how they spent the money
... having aggregated spread sheets is great first step
... but also to build use cases for the depth of the data
... so we have auditability
... we need the granular data as well
... that's where the sunlight doesn't shine

Daniel: someone whispered that there were some amazing schemas for UK legislation
... they actually have a lot more than what shows up in the ontologies
... I am looking at the actual words used
... it would not be that difficult to use these schemas to validate what shows up in the Gazette
... I'm just pointing it out

JohnS: I am responsible for these as well

Daniel: you were hiding them!
... you have an amazing tool in these schemas
... I have a feeling that people are moving from tabular to triples
... that misses out on a rich world
... not sure it's a bypass that provides more tools
... perhaps world is a hybrid
... and what gets left behind
... use objects and schemas and RDF ontologies to do triple stuff
... what Joe is showing gets to a type of interoperability that does not happen through ontologies
... things like title, section, does not have meaning
... two pieces come together as a way to find something
... a missing piece is the URLs which provide a lot of interoperability
... those two pieces of data for US code and public laaw
... allow you to create URLs, which are important for interoperability
... some people automatically do smart things
... in UK Gazette, the URLs are well designed
... but no one is talking about why that's important
... everyone understands you are supposed to have good URLs, but don't understand why it's important to interoperability
... I can show you something

Ed: Have you seen TBL's cool URI's doc?

Diane: can you post it?

Daniel: it's a short, sweet explanation of why URIs should be human readable

<josema> http://www.w3.org/Provider/Style/URI

Daniel: but he is missing out on the interoperability aspect

<josema> that was the pointer to the Cool URIs document

Ed: there is a companion doc called cool URIs for the Semantic Web
... using URIs to address large data spaces
... It's important not to argue about data formats
... but not be too dismissive of what it can and cannot do

<joec> * Karen has done a great job as scribe

Ed: a good outcome would be a bnch of patterns
... and provide people with patterns to follow
... there are so many choices

<josema> Cool URIs for the Semantic Web

Ed: I think for a group at W3C to say these are reasonble things to do and provide guidance
... to get through the big landscape, that would be a major accomplishment

<josema> outstanding I would say :)

JohnS: The semantics is useful topic
... in UK, break down components
...amendable, non-amendable, and legislation ?
... title number or chapter number
... is a non-...amendable descriptive component
... most of parts you cannot change from another act
... cannot change one act from another
... that's an important thing to know
... most things can be changed apart from its number
... even if there is no meaning associated with them
... a natural pull to express using semantics
... I also take on board
... work we have done in UK
... we need to use all of the strategies we talk about in one situation or another
... to say one right way to do this is not going to work
... in terms of making progress in context of eGov
... a bunch of good stuff to do
... advanced, basic; depends upon where you are at
... better to start doing some good stuff now, and not do everything prefectly
... some design patterns
... some ideas this month you can do on your existing budget
... as opposed to perfection in three years on a budget you will never have
... that's what we can be doing

Daniel: yes, sort of true
... I would add that what has not happened is thinking about future perfect
... you can think of a few things
... structured data is better than unstructured
... more places you can invest information
... way to do that is not end of road
... but not force tumult of past
... in converting one form of data to another
... what's built into some data
... not the end of the road
... but anticipate that things may change
... good annotation, good specificity, truthful about information
... will make things easier to do

[John shakes his head]

Kevin: have we beaten this to death?

Jose: point of orde
... let me review
...we have not touched on all the specific issues on the agenda, but on the generic ones
...we can post-pone for tomorrow

Joe: I am wondering if you have in mind what those categories are
... from where you are starting, like Excel or Access, or mainframe or SQL, or different scenarios
... have you thought about the categories?

JohnS: not really
... just discussing through course of today
... a few things to find structure and design patterns
... If you find yourself here, this is a good thing to do
... and spreadsheet to RDF is a good case in point
... bar codes with RDFa example
... there have been at least five examples today

Joe: I think that's great

Kevin: I think we should wrap for today
... and continue discussions over dinner
... and come back tomorrow refreshed and refocused
... talk about some solutions and approaches
... and we have some other agenda items tomorrow
... I'd like to sleep on that and revisit first thing in the morning


Summary of Action Items

[End of minutes]

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$Date: 2009/03/13 04:00:04 $