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Nutrition / Linked data

From: Daniel O'Connor <daniel.oconnor@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 10 Jan 2009 20:44:28 +1030
Message-ID: <106cc1200901100214i69c0ddbdi19d3c4d00029dc2b@mail.gmail.com>
To: public-lod@w3.org
Hey all,
I'm Daniel O'Connor, a software engineer from Australia.

At the moment I'm trying to get a lot of food nutrition data together from a
whole bunch of different sources and create a bit of an ontology; publish it
as RDF; and make sure its chock full of linked data goodness; and I could
use your help, advice, pointers and encouragement.

Use cases include things like shopping, diet / fitness applications,
cooking, and much more.

   - what did you eat today? -> hey, that's only 75% of your recommended
   daily energy intake
   - what is the approximate food energy in this recipe?
   - tell me the fattiest food I'm eating and replace it with one with more
   protein (but the same energy content)

The data sources I've got on my list so far are:

   - USDA's SR21 food nutrients data (public domain)
   - Australia's NUTTAB 06 data (not so public domain)
   - Canadia's CNF data (haven't delved into it in depth)

The typical format provided is CSV, so I'm going through and mapping those
CSV exports back into a RDBMS (php + mysql / pgsql / etc), then providing
tools to generate RDF out, and publishing the static results.

You can see (and get) the code from:

and read a bit more about installing from:

and view samples of the output:


Ontology (draft!):

There's a lot of work for me here, and if anyone here has knowledge or a
helping hand, I'd love to hear from you, especially regarding the ones in

   - Resolve licensing agreements with Aust. government for rights to
   reproduce data (in progress)
   - Model Canadian data
   - *Find or create a suitable ontology for Nutrition data* (I would have
   expected some common terms from the bio-rdf community, but I don't have the
   background to know what I'm looking for)
   - Model the USDA, NUTTAB and Canadian extensions as appropriate
   - Find or create (ick hope not) an ontology for measurements in relation
   to typical nutrition measurements (again, there's no semantic web concepts
   for milligrams, kilocalories, etc - not even in dbpedia. timbl did some very
   high level concepts of what a Gram / etc is; but its not quite the same)
   - Find or create a list of terms used in nutrition data
   (shorthand/abbreivations) - ie CBODF = "Carbohydrate by difference", but I
   can't seem to find a good list of these outside of the USDA data itself.
   - Find or create a *journal publications ontology* (dublincore might do
   it though; or some other bibliographic ontology) - suggestions?
   - Find or create *science terms ontology* (Paper, Subject, Experiment,
   Samples, etc) - anyone?
   - Create *owl:sameAs links to DBPedia* topics in some automated fashion -
   this is tricky, because a lot of the data is written as "Cheese, blue" and
   is much more granular than wikipedia articles about Cheese.
   - Create *owl:sameAs links to Freebase* topics in some automated fashion
   - ditto
   - *Interlink Canadian, NUTTAB, USDA data* in some automated fashion -
   similar - different naming schemes make using dc:title as a IFP a bit
   - Render full sets of RDF for each
   - Publish these somewhere - http://lauken.com/doconnor/ is not suitable
   for anything more than a sandbox
   - Provide human interfaces as appropriate - if anyone wanted to
create *shiny
   XSLT -> XHTML *perhaps; or PHP glue...
   - *Setup a SPARQL endpoint* (I have a hell of a time doing this in my
   development environment, so this might not happen) - HELP!
   - Provide unit test coverage for all generator tools
   - Refactor lots
Received on Saturday, 10 January 2009 10:15:18 UTC

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