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Re: the white house uses RDFa

From: Mark Birbeck <mark.birbeck@webbackplane.com>
Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2009 22:44:47 +0000
Message-ID: <ed77aa9f0901281444l35e49ea5o1146d52f5f1c6853@mail.gmail.com>
To: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Cc: RDFa <public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org>

Hi Manu,

> Pardon me as I retrieve my jaw from the floor...
> I thought government was supposed to be years behind the curve.

I also had to retrieve my jaw from the floor (although it was over a
year ago), when UK government departments undertook even more
ambitious RDFa projects.

I did a presentation at XML 2008 in December on two projects that I've
been working on with the Central Office of Information:


The key design criteria for both projects is that a number of
government departments should be able to use their existing publishing
tools to make important data available for re-use, but that the data
should be in a standard vocabulary.

RDFa answers both requirements, because it can be embedded into HTML
-- meaning each department can choose its own method of publishing,
and other departments and third parties can extract it -- and that
it's RDF -- meaning that the data can be published using existing,
well known, vocabularies.

And although I'm pleased with those projects, they weren't actually the first.

Jeni Tennison had already been working with the Stationery Office on
RDFa-ising the London Gazette:


This is an exciting project, and shows RDFa in a slightly different
scenario; there are certain categories of information for which there
is a legal requirement that they be published in the Gazette, such as
insolvencies, bankruptcies, certain types of roadworks, and so on. By
using RDFa to describe them when they are published, third-parties are
able to make use of the information, but the interesting thing is that
the information is authoritative.

I would imagine that the increased publication of RDF-enabled
information by governments, using RDFa, will have an impact in turn on
encouraging the private sector to see RDFa as a viable semantic
publication mechanism.

It all bodes well. :)



Mark Birbeck, webBackplane



webBackplane is a trading name of Backplane Ltd. (company number
05972288, registered office: 2nd Floor, 69/85 Tabernacle Street,
London, EC2A 4RR)
Received on Wednesday, 28 January 2009 22:45:25 UTC

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