The French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies releases OWL ontology and RDF data for geographical entities


Paris, July 31 2006

Data and entities defined, gathered and codified by official organizations are an important legacy on which trustable reference resources can be built, published and used by Web 2.0 and Semantic Web applications, based on W3C family of standards such as XML, RDF and OWL. Aware of the likely growing importance of those technologies in the years to come, the French INSEE (National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies) has released today for public use a first series of data in RDF format. Those data represent elements of its Official Geographical Code, describing the various administrative subdivisions of France, including names, codes and mutual relationships such as inclusion and neighborhood. The structure of those data is controlled by an ontology in OWL format, published along with the RDF data.
All this material is available for download, with technical explanations in French from .

Production and publication of the ontology and data have been supported by the technical collaboration of Mondeca, a major actor in the development of Semantic Web technologies in France. Mondeca has already planned the integration of those data in several ongoing projects, in domains as various as tourism portals, press, or territory management and security.

Consistency of the XML version of the RDF with other XML vocabularies already published by INSEE has been validated by Eric van der Vlist (Dyomedea), a well-known expert in XML technologies.

The National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies collects, produces, analyzes and publishes informations on french economy and society. Those informations are of interest to administrations, companies, researchers, media, teachers and citizen. They allow them to enrich their knowledge, perform studies, make previsions and decisions. To satisfy those users, INSEE is listening to their needs and orients its work accordingly. INSEE is in charge of the coordination of french public statistics system, and represents France in European and international institutions in charge of statistics harmonization. INSEE is also in charge of university teaching and research in the framework of the Group of National Schools of Economy and Statistics (GeNES).

Mondeca technology, based on Semantic Web, ontologies and Web 2.0 technologies, allows a fine-grained organisation of information for Web sites, intranets or extranets, and represents a new generation of solutions to access information and knowledge. Mondeca solutions have been chosen by industry major companies to manage knowledge bases, by territories for valorization of their touristic offer, by publishers for organization and publication of their content and knowledge.

Mondeca is present in Europe and the USA.

Defining himself as a « High Technology Guide », Eric van der Vlist is conducting for Dyomedea consulting and teaching missions in the domains of XML, Semantic Web and Web 2.0. He's also the designer and main actor of the Web site


Bernard Vatant

Bernard Vatant

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