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Re: healthdata.gov/developer challenges

From: Gannon Dick <gannon_dick@yahoo.com>
Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2012 17:38:11 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <1339115891.16366.YahooMailNeo@web112610.mail.gq1.yahoo.com>
To: "Thomas, George \(OS/ASA/OCIO/OEA\)" <George.Thomas1@hhs.gov>
Cc: "public-egov-ig@w3.org" <public-egov-ig@w3.org>, Luis Bermudez <lbermudez@opengeospatial.org>, Chris Musialek <christopher.musialek@gsa.gov>
"but feel free to also email ... you want to flame me with your misunderstanding of linked 
data and knowledge graphs ..."
Seriously George, flattery will get you nowhere :o)

Americans and Europeans have different semantics around governance which predate the web by several hundred years.  In Europe it's colonialism and Empire and in the US it's Federalism.  The whole world did it badly at one time or another, and the WC3 or IT does not need to take criticism  "personally", provided they recognize the source of the badness.  The US Civil War was fought in part over "States Rights"; Community Rights by any reasonable definition which had the Confederacy prevailed would certainly not have meant that a State, Province, etc. would could act with impunity or that the citizens of the new, smaller federal authority could do as they like.  Jesse James comes to mind, he was a loyal Confederate volunteer and a volunteer Outlaw after the first job ended.  There is a bug in the Federalism program.  You can
 program around it and move on, but you cannot ignore it away; it cascades down to the smallest Community and the devices which serve the Community members.  Competing Mobile Devices can be called "puppies" and "kittens", but to exclude the owner of a  "pet turtle" brand is a bad thing, and to exclude a community because too many "pet turtle" brand Mobile Devices live there is not helpful for democracy nor is it the challenge of IT.

I am not sure if I can commit the resources up front to winning the challenge down the line, but George, as you know, I've been at this a while, and I have some interesting results.  Just keep an open mind.

1) In the US we constantly program around federalism.  The key=value pair lists look almost the same before and after the "war" - the values are the same, the keys are all different.  We do not rely on semantic groupings, rather we redefine "new" keys for the before/after set of values.  Civil wars are no fun, unless like Jesse James, you do not care who wins.  c.f. civil-domains1.html[1] and
2)  Another interesting thing for Community Service data, like health data, is that the service coverage is only weakly dependent on population density or economic activity as a supposed center of gravity.   Using Commercial data collected by economic metrics, counting puppies and kittens, is literally "off the map" if you are searching for inadequate or broken infrastructure. c.f. maps.pdf[3] These were made by calculating bounding boxes for States and a linear interpolation of scales west to east and south to north for the relative position of the Counties[4].  This scaling results in a uniform tic-tack-toe board with islands of federalization (communities).  There is no economic or population center of gravity, but data collected from a greater population or increased economic activity tends to move the islands closer together and closer to the center box of the tic-tac-toe board.  It seems a little crazy to say you can
 find a sick bridge by waiting for the other bridges move away from it.  If the data does that the data misleads.  Odd shaped States look vaguely like themselves (NY, MI).  Colorado looks square and uniform because Colorado is squareish anyway.  Appendages like the Texas Panhandle don't matter much in the big picture.  Sick people are not sicker in small towns.  Lots to say.

The data base[5] can be mined for world-wide use.  There are several thousand subdivision entities named.  Languages are separated into an interlingua (terminology) and bibliograph (human manifestations).  Interlinguas are for external consumption and have little meta value for eGovernment.


[1] http://www.rustprivacy.org/2012/cctld/civil-domains1.html
[2] http://www.rustprivacy.org/2012/cctld/civil-domains2.html
[3] http://www.rustprivacy.org/2012/cctld/maps.pdf
[4] http://www.rustprivacy.org/2012/cctld/HHS.sql.txt
[5] http://www.rustprivacy.org/2012/cctld/domain_identifiers_2012-06-05.zip

 From: "Thomas, George (OS/ASA/OCIO/OEA)" <George.Thomas1@hhs.gov>
To: "ckan-dev@lists.okfn.org" <ckan-dev@lists.okfn.org>; "info@codeforamerica.org" <info@codeforamerica.org>; "sunlightlabs@googlegroups.com" <sunlightlabs@googlegroups.com> 
Cc: "gov@omg.org" <gov@omg.org>; "public-egov-ig@w3.org" <public-egov-ig@w3.org>; Luis Bermudez <lbermudez@opengeospatial.org>; Chris Musialek <christopher.musialek@gsa.gov> 
Sent: Wednesday, June 6, 2012 10:45 AM
Subject: healthdata.gov/developer challenges

Seven domain and platform healthdata.gov/developer challenges were announced at this years Health Datapalooza [1]. An overview of the planned challenges can be found here [2]. Two are open now to interested submitters, a Metadata [3] and WebID [4] based challenges, with $35K prizes each, closing in early October 2012. For more overall context on the open source healthdata.gov platform and related developer challenges, see this presentation [5] that briefly describes our direction and related works. 

The challenge releases are sequenced in order to build on each other, culminating with the continuation of a recent HHS OCIO / DERI [6] collaboration that leverages WebID AuthN (and can also be used as an API key for any service requestor agent) integrated with the (data.gov.uk developed) Linked Data API [7] and a Privacy Preference Ontology [8] driven AuthZ implementation, which was the subject of #semtechbiz 2012 presentation [9]. We believe this represents one approach to realizing the goal of achieving 'data element access services' as described in the PCAST Health IT Report [10], enabling a shift toward 'securing data, not just devices' [11]. 

The standards, tools, languages and components described in the current collateral on healthdata.gov exemplify what we're currently using and where we're planning on going, but we're certainly open to any and all approaches that are more innovative or effective. More details about the next set of challenges to be released are forthcoming in subsequent /developer blog posts. 

Please disseminate this call for participation and collaboration widely at your discretion and include #healthdata hashtag where appropriate. Threaded discussion will occur on challenge.gov, with moderated blog post comments on healthdata.gov, but feel free to also email me if you're interested in participating and; you have any questions or observations, you want to understand more about the utility of key=value pairs where key's have HTTP URI's [12], you want to know what we think distinguishes 'Web 2.0' and 'Web 3.0' API's, you want to flame me with your misunderstanding of linked data and knowledge graphs, or whatever else is on your mind. 

We would like to thank W3C, OMG, OGC voluntary consensus standards organizations and the GSA Data.gov PMO tech leaders for participating as our organizational partners to review your challenge submissions. We hope *you* will engage with us as we attempt to enhance the capabilities of our open source platform and the utility of our linked health data, and that you'll decide to either team up or go it alone and compete in our developer challenges! 


George Thomas, @georgethomas
U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services
healthdata.gov/developer lead
W3C Government Linked Data WG co-chair

[1] http://www.hdiforum.org/
[2] http://www.healthdata.gov/developer-challenges-overview
[3] http://www.healthdata.gov/blog/domain-challenge-1-metadata
[4] http://www.healthdata.gov/blog/platform-challenge-1-simplified-sign
[5] http://www.healthdata.gov/blog/healthdatagov-now-next-and-challenges
[6] http://soso.deri.ie/
[7] http://code.google.com/p/linked-data-api/
[8] http://vocab.deri.ie/ppo
[9] http://semtechbizsf2012.semanticweb.com/sessionPop.cfm?confid=65&proposalid=4539 
[10] http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/pcast-health-it-report.pdf 
[11] http://fedscoop.com/vanroekel-park-cut-and-invest-balance-guides-it/
[12] http://json-ld.org/
Received on Friday, 8 June 2012 00:39:43 UTC

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