In the short time since the beginning of the year, the Government Linked Data Working Group has successfully published its final documents. The Best Practices for Publishing Linked Data Note was published last week providing advice and insights into how linked data publishing differs from other formats; and this week has seen three vocabularies published as Recommendations. Each of these will enhance data interoperability, especially, but not exclusively, in government data. Each one specifies an RDF vocabulary (a set of properties and classes) for conveying a particular kind of information:
- The Data Catalog (DCAT) Vocabulary is used to provide information about available data sources. When data sources are described using DCAT, it becomes much easier to create high-quality integrated and customized catalogs including entries from many different providers. Many national data portals are already using DCAT.
- The Data Cube Vocabulary brings the cube model underlying SDMX (Statistical Data and Metadata eXchange, a popular ISO standard) to Linked Data. This vocabulary enables statistical and other regular data, such as measurements, to be published and then integrated and analyzed with RDF-based tools.
- The Organization Ontology provides a powerful and flexible vocabulary for expressing the official relationships and roles within an organization. This allows for interoperation of personnel tools and will support emerging socially-aware software.
Many members of the GLD deserve specific thanks, in particular Dave Reynolds for his work on Data Cube and ORG, Fadi Maali for his work on DCAT, Richard Cyganiak for his work on all those, Boris Villazón-Terrazas and Ghislain Atemezing for their work on the LD-BP document, and Hadley Beeman who has ensured that the WG kept up the pace to the end, all under the expert guidance of Sandro Hawke. There were many other members of the WG who remained active right to the end and without whom the work could not have been completed and who also deserve sincere thanks. I’d like to end by expressing my particular thanks to Bernadette Hyland who has chaired the Government Linked Data working group since its initial charter, giving up huge amounts of time to the group. I believe Bernadette will be recording her own thoughts here imminently.