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Re: Nutrition / Linked data

From: Semantics-ProjectParadigm <metadataportals@yahoo.com>
Date: Sat, 10 Jan 2009 07:05:56 -0800 (PST)
To: public-lod@w3.org, Daniel O'Connor <daniel.oconnor@gmail.com>
Message-ID: <608923.23385.qm@web45502.mail.sp1.yahoo.com>

It all depends on which angle/viewpoint you are using for collection nutrition data.

There are many angles to nutrition data
1. purely nutritionist
2. food safety and health hazards
3. consumer labeling
4. organic/natural versus GMO/factory farming
5. nutritional comparative data for categories of e.g. similar or biologically related agricultural produce species in an agricultural context

And there are many more off course.

This is a subject that really allows the full potential of semantic technologies to be unleashed.

I recommend you also look at the WHO, FAO, and European Union programs on agriculture, food and nutrition which deal specifically with application of semantic web technologies.

Of these three you may want to look at the FAO first (Food and Agriculture Organization) of the UN first.

Milton Ponson
GSM: +297 747 8280
Rainbow Warriors Core Foundation
PO Box 1154, Oranjestad
Aruba, Dutch Caribbean
Project Paradigm: A structured approach to bringing the tools for sustainable development to all stakeholders worldwide
NGO-Opensource: Creating ICT tools for NGOs worldwide for Project Paradigm
MetaPortal: providing online access to web sites and repositories of data and information for sustainable development
SemanticWebSoftware, part of NGO-Opensource to enable SW technologies in the Metaportal project

--- On Sat, 1/10/09, Daniel O'Connor <daniel.oconnor@gmail.com> wrote:
From: Daniel O'Connor <daniel.oconnor@gmail.com>
Subject: Nutrition / Linked data
To: public-lod@w3.org
Date: Saturday, January 10, 2009, 10:14 AM

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 intakewhat 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 bold.

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 appropriateFind 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 annoying.
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 toolsRefactor lots

Received on Saturday, 10 January 2009 15:06:45 UTC

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