Agencies in the US Government have adopted a set of web tools and standards developed in Ireland by researchers at NUI Galway’s Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI).
DERI’s technologies are being utilised by Data.gov, a portal developed to bring an unprecedented level of transparency to the US Government.
DERI’s research, which is funded by Science Foundation Ireland, focuses on enabling networked knowledge, using the latest Semantic Web and Linked Data technologies.
Its technologies allow related data that was not previously linked to be connected together, so that a person or computer can see the bigger picture through interlinked datasets. Data.gov allows the linking of open government data from agency publishers to contributions from other public and private organisations.
DERI’s Dr John Breslin, who also lectures in Electronic Engineering at NUI Galway, explains the innovative technology.
“I recently saw a universal toy adaptor that allowed you to connect plastic building blocks to wooden construction sets. Linked Data is a bit like that – it’s based on a universal data format that allows you to bring datasets from different realms together, making them more useful as a whole. Your planning applications could be linked to your broadband penetration rates or your traffic congestion data to help identify issues and trends.”
Among the DERI outputs being used by Data.gov and the related Healthdata.gov site are Neologism and the GRefine RDF Extension.
Neologism is a new tool that allows for the easy creation of ‘vocabularies’ needed to link data and is built on the powerful open source content management platform Drupal.
DERI was founded in 2003 at NUI Galway with support from the Irish Government’s Science Foundation Ireland, as part of a strategic investment in Semantic Web research and business development.