RE: Civic apps and Linked Data

Alvaro, it's a very good question!

At MIT Libraries, we're currently working on a proof of concept to model geotagged accesses to our research and how it connects with the parts of the world the research is about (to see if the people who can benefit from it are reading it, and hopefully improve that connection).

See here<> for some of my very early attempts at modeling Africa from LOD sources (using GeoNames lookup as a start).

And this is a high level summary<> and short interview about our goals.

We want to use LOD about the countries in question to pull in more context about both the areas that are seeing research as well as enriching the metadata around research with the same data.  Of course we would like to go further than this and be able to link more and more relevant entities to this graph and ideally have an LOD source that describes specific issues around the globe.

I would love to hear from anyone who knows of data sets that may help.  I am also, like you, curious to hear any other civic use cases for the use of this technology.

- Sands Fish
- Senior Software Engineer / Data Scientist
- MIT Libraries

From: [] on behalf of Alvaro Graves []
Sent: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 10:03 AM
To: Linked Data community
Subject: Civic apps and Linked Data

Hello everyone,

A few days ago I attended ABRELATAM'13 an unconference focused on Open Data in Latin America. I proposed a session about Open Data + Linked Data to discuss how semantics and LOD in general can help government and civi organizations. I want to share the main ideas that emerged from the conversation:

- SW/LOD sounds really cool and the direction where thing should move.
- However there are many technical aspects that remain unsolved
- Since for many people having a relatively good solution using CSV, JSON, etc. is easier, they don't want to use SW/LOD because it is an overkill and too complicated.

So my question is: Why we don't see lots of civic apps using Linked Data? Where are the SW activists? Why we haven't been able to demonstrate to the hacker community the benefits of using semantic technologies? Is it because they are hard to use? They don't scale well in many cases (as a googled pointed out)? Are we too busy working in academia/businesses?

I know very few civic apps using semantic technologies and I don't think I have seen anyone that has made real impact in any country. I would love if you can prove me wrong and if we can discuss how can we involve more activists and hackers into the SW/LOD community.

Alvaro Graves-Fuenzalida
Web: - Twitter: @alvarograves

Received on Wednesday, 26 June 2013 20:09:30 UTC