Open Cube: Making publishing statistics easier
We’ve recently started work on another European collaborative project called OpenCube. This project is all about making open statistical data easier to publish, link and reuse so it can reach its full potential. The technical approach concentrates on the RDF Data Cube vocabulary, that recently reached W3C recommendation status.
This project is very relevant to our work: much of the data that our customers publish using PublishMyData is statistical data and we are big users of the RDF Data Cube approach. We can already see the power of this approach: for example how it enables combining datasets together, as in our Stats Selector tool. But we also have first hand experience of the challenges our customers face in creating RDF Data Cube data and can see many further opportunities for enriching access to data in this form.
A real strength of OpenCube is the close involvement of a group of ‘use case partners’. These are organisations that have agreed to participate in a series of pilot studies, assisting us with setting the requirements of the project and evaluating the tools we create. The pilots will involve the UK Department for Communities and Local Government, the Government of Flanders, the Irish Central Statistics Office and a (yet to be confirmed) Swiss bank.
As part of the project we’ll be creating an OpenCube extension of PublishMyData. This extension will include lots of cool stuff including:
- tools for transforming CSV files and Excel spreadsheets to RDF Data Cube datasets (without the need for programming)
- tools for managing a collection of concept schemes
- tools for selecting URIs from external reference data
- quality checks that make sure any generated RDF meets the required standards
So, like the DaPaaS project, we’re excited about being part of this because it will help us make Linked Data easier to create and easier to exploit; bringing the benefits to a larger community of users.
Again, we’re lucky to be working alongside some great data people on this project. Take a look at the links below to find out more about who’s involved:
- CERTH (Centre for Research and Technology Hellas - Greece)
- NUIG (DERI) (National University of Ireland, Galway)
- Fluid Operations (Germany)
- ProXML (Belgium)
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