Government Linked Data (GLD) Working Group
||Jun 29, 2011
||Jun 30, 2011
||Room 515, Stafford II, Arlington, VA
The mission of the Government Linked Data (GLD) Working
Group is to provide standards and other information which help governments
around the world publish their data as effective and usable Linked Data using Semantic Web technologies.
The group, a part of the eGovernment
Activity and closely connected with the Semantic Web Activity, will collect and
make available information about government Linked Data activities around the
world. It will use that information and the experience of its participants to
develop W3C Recommendations for Best Practices and for RDF Vocabularies
necessary for publication of government data in RDF, as Linked Data.
Concurrently with this Working Group, W3C has chartered the eGovernment Interest Group for
broad community discussion of government use of the Web.
This group will develop standards-track documents and maintain a community
website in order to help governments at all levels (from small towns to nations)
share their data as high quality ("five-star") linked data. This group is
exclusively focused on data publication using Semantic Web standards, deployed
on the Web following linked data principles, as introduced by Tim Berners-Lee in
2006, in Linked
Out of Scope
Several possible standards which might be of use to governments deploying
linked data are out of scope for this group, such as those listed below.
Discussion of these technologies is welcome in the parallel eGov Interest Group or Semantic Web Interest Group.
Those groups can form task forces to investigate and incubate work in areas such
as these for possible standardization in future Working Groups.
- A simplified protocol for exposing linked data, such as the Linked Data API
- A mechanism for notification and propagation of changes to datasets, part of
the field of dataset dynamics,
such as SPARQL Push.
- A vocabulary for expressing the similarity between entities, like owl:sameAs
- Any additional data formats or communications protocols
- Any XML technologies, such as XML Schema and AtomPub, which are not part of
the RDF stack. Although these technologies are widely deployed and can be
effectively used for government data, standardization work on them, if
undertaken, is separable enough from the work of this group to be better done in
a parallel, coordinated, group.
While the group is prohibited from developing or standardizing solutions
outside of its scope, it may, in its materials, mention and explain them as
possible solutions, as long as it does not mandate them.
Consulting is also out of scope of the group: while the group will contain
experts and will be talking to people who might want to make use of that
expertise to solve specific problems, the group will not provide consulting or
any kind of customized solutions; instead, it will seek to provide the
assistance through publication of materials which directly and indirectly
support the people trying to solve the problems. If individuals in the group
provide consulting, they must make clear they are not representing or acting on
behalf of the group in doing so.
Note on "optional" items: where items are
described as "optional", they are to be considered a
lower priority and produced only if the chairs decide addressing them does not
significantly endanger the schedule. Typically, the production of optional elements is done in a loosely-coupled task force, with
the output later incorporated by the Working Group if ready in time.
In all of its work, the group will design for personal privacy and
information security, documenting considerations and the possible impact of its
The Working Group will construct and maintain an online directory of the
government linked data community, containing the following items:
- Deployments, at every stage of the effort from initial
consideration to maturity, with (when available) success stories, lessons
learned, and ongoing challenges (concrete use cases)
- Vendors of linked data products and services
- Contractors (firms and individuals) offering linked data
- End-User Applications which are available to the general
- Optionally: Research groups,
researchers, and sources of research funding
- Optionally: Outreach and Advocacy
groups, individuals, and funding sources
- Optionally: Training materials and
programs, including classes, tutorials, and books
Optionally, other items deemed relevant and
appropriate by the group may be included.
All items are to be listed and described from a neutral point of view,
without the group performing any evaluation or expressing any judgments. If any
material in the directory is contested, the group may decide to cite and quote
The group is only charged with building and maintaining the directory until
the end of its charter. Optionally, the group will
construct the directory to be largely self-sustaining and arrange for its
control to be transferred to some responsible party, either inside or outside of
Optionally, the directory may serve as a demonstration
(or "dogfood") project, but the group is strongly advised to focus on content,
not mechanism, using something like wiki pages, unless a better system is
Because of the brand association between this directory and W3C, W3C
management reserves the right to final say in any disputes concerning the
directory, even if hosting and day-to-day maintenance are provided by a third
Best Practices for Publishing Linked Data
The group will produce one or more Recommendations which address the
Procurement. Specific products and services involved in
governments publishing linked data will be defined, suitable for use during
government procurement. Just as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
allow governments to easily specify what they mean when they contract for an
accessible Website, these definitions will simplify contracting for data sites
Vocabulary Selection. The group will provide advice on how
governments should select RDF vocabulary terms (URIs), including advice as to
when they should mint their own. This advice will take into account issues of
stability, security, and long-term maintenance commitment, as well as other
factors that may arise during the group's work.
URI Construction. The group will specify how to create good
URIs for use in government linked data. Inputs include Cool URIs for the Semantic Web, Designing
URI Sets for the UK Public Sector (PDF), and Creating URIs (data.gov.uk).
Guidance will be produced not only for minting URIs for governmental entities,
such as schools or agencies, but also for vocabularies, concepts, and
Versioning. The group will specify how to publish data which
has multiple versions, including variations such as:
- data covering different time periods
- corrected data about the same time period
- the same data published using different vocabularies, formats, and
- retracting published data
Stability. The group will specify how to publish data so
that others can rely on it being available in perpetuity, persistently archived
Legacy Data. The group will produce specific advice
concerning how to expose legacy data, data which is being maintained in
pre-existing (non-linked-data) systems.
Cookbook. The group will produce a collection of advice on
smaller, more specific issues, where known solutions exist to problems collected
for the Community Directory. This document is to be published as a Working Group
Note, or website, rather than a Recommendation. It may, instead, become part of
the Community Directory site.
The group will develop one or more W3C Recommendations to guide governments
publishing data in which RDF vocabulary terms to use in information about
certain common concept areas. The publishing granularity, in terms of which
topics are covered in which documents, is left to the group to decide.
The group will have to determine whether it is better to reuse existing
widely-deployed terms such as foaf:name and dc:temporal, in their existing name
space, or mint new URIs in a w3.org name space. Even if the group decides to
mint new URIs, it should link them to equivalent concepts (using, for example,
owl:equivalentProperty links) unless there are strong reasons not to.
The decisions behind these deliverables will be closely related to the Best
Practice advice on Vocabulary Selection (above), although the factors affecting W3C URIs
are somewhat different from those affecting government URIs.
The group will gather and publish use cases and requirements for vocabularies
to cover each of the following areas, and it will produce W3C Recommendation(s)
defining the meaning and usage of each element in these vocabularies, where they
are not already defined in suitable open standards. The group will also produce
documentation, examples, and, optionally, test cases and
OWL ontologies for these vocabularies.
Metadata, suitable for provenance (in coordination the Provenance Interchange Working Group),
data catalogs (see the dcat data catalog
vocabulary and the Comprehensive Knowledge
Archive Network CKAN, and VoiD), data quality, timeliness of
data, status, refresh rate, etc. The Library Linked Data Incubator
Group reports offer some use cases and possible technical inputs.
One challenge in metadata is granularity, as some attributes apply to vast
ongoing collections of data, while others apply to particular triples, and most
apply to some intermediate size dataset or graph.
Statistical "Cube" Data. The group will produce a
vocabulary, compatible with SDMX, for expressing
some kinds of statistical data. This need not be as expressive as all of SDMX,
but may provide a subset as in the RDF
Data Cube vocabulary. It may also include ways to annotate data to indicate
its assumptions and comparability.
People, such as elements of FOAF or vCard in RDF. This is an area
for particular attention to privacy considerations.
Organizational Structures. Such as the Epimorphics the organization
ontology (see also its requirements
optional: Geography, Spatial
Information, such as latitude and longitude. Inputs include W3C Geospatial
Ontologies Incubator Report the European INSPIRE Directive, and vocabulary
elements of GeoSPARQL.
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- F2F1: 29-30 June 2011, near
Washington, DC, USA.
participants and invited guests only):
- Time TBD
- Dial +1-617-761-6200 or sip:firstname.lastname@example.org then conference code TBD#
- IRC channel: #gld.
- An agenda is sent 24
hours in advance; minutes follow within a day or two.