As the Semantic Web (sometimes called Web 3.0) emerges, the US government is pleased to be in the vanguard of this new technology space. To this end, Data.gov is hosting demonstrations and documents that will help familiarize Data.gov users with this new technology, and that will let citizens and developers work with the government in creating a new generation of "linked data" mash ups.
Data.gov now hosts a set of Resource Description Framework (RDF) documents containing triples created by converting a number of the Data.gov datasets into this format, making over 6.4 billion triples of open government data available to the community. An index of all the RDF documents on Data.gov is here.
The URI scheme chosen is a very simple one for the time being, designed to allow users to easily explore and extend the data. A proposal is being developed with RPI, one of the Data.gov community leaders, for a new encoding of datasets converted from CSV (and other formats) to RDF. We're looking forward to a design discussion to determine the best scheme for persistent and dereferenceable government URI naming with the international community and the World Wide Web Consortium to promote international standards for persistent government data (and metadata) on the World Wide Web.
Ever wonder how residential energy use varies across the U.S.? By combining data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Data.gov with data from OpenEI.org, the U.S. Census and SmartGrid.gov, this mashup compares 7 cities with populations of roughly half a million. With differing electricity rates, median income levels, energy-related incentives and types of Smart Grid programs being introduced, cities across the country are transitioning to a new energy marketplace in unique ways.
Mashups are intriguing because you can create new stories from data that is accessible yet completely independent — multiple datasets merging in a way that was not expected," said Ryan McKeel, Digital Assets Applications Developer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado, whose Open Energy Initiative (OpenEI.org) team helped build the Energy Data Mashup. "For instance, if you combine U.S. Census data with crime and voting records, you start painting a unique story that none of the data providers could have anticipated."
Data.gov Mash-A-Thon 1 builds Web 3.0 apps and enthusiasm A lecture by Professor Jim Hendler at the Data.gov Mash-a-Thon 2010 For two days in August, a classroom in Washington, D.C.'s Dupont Circle filled with Federal developers, students and semantic web experts. They shared one purpose: to create a new generation of "linked-data" applications called "mashups" that use Data.gov's free public data in new and innovative ways. The U.S. government is in the vanguard of understanding and using the semantic web, which will transform the World Wide Web.
At the International Semantic Web Conference in Shanghai, China, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's (RPI) "TWC LOGD: A Portal for Linking Open Government Data" took the second spot in the International Semantic Web Challenge Open Track for its portal that opens up Data.gov's data and shows the world how to use it.
To help scientists easily find relevant government data for their research, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s (RPI) Tetherless World Research Constellation (TWC) team and Elsevier’s SciVerse websites collaborated to make access to Data.gov easier for the world’s research scientists.