Governments, Open Data

The notion of using open data, the semantic web, and so on in open government is not new; the U.K. for example, has been working on it since 2009. 

As described in the new group's charter:

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."

Linked Data, as defined by the W3C, is the collection of interrelated datasets on the Web.


Deliverables from the group are intended to be:

  • an online directory of the government linked data community, first version of which is due in September
  • "cookbook" advice site, the first version of which is due in December
  • best practices for publishing government linked data, the first version of which is also due in December
  • standard vocabularies, the first version of which is also due in December

Stable operation is expected in 2012, and transition to post working group operation is expected in 2013. The group's work is public.