Looks like the UK version of data.gov, developed by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, is going to be released soon. It is “language-based” where “linkages are based on human language, rather than hard-coded hyperlinks”, a.k.a. the Semantic Web concept that Berners-Lee has been touting for years.
I like the way Nancy Scola of Personal Democracy Forum describes the Semantic Web:
[Berners-Lee] vision is of a web that understands the connections between disparate bits of information in a way similar to how the human mind might effortlessly connect an address on London’s Whitehall with the events of World War II that Winston Churchill directed from an underground bunker there. Data woven through with more human ways of interpretation might, just might, make the gap between making government information public and making it useful a little smaller.
The BBC reports that “Data.gov.uk is built with semantic web technology, which will enable the data it offers to be drawn together into links and threads as the user searches…we will also be able to look for patterns…visitors to data.gov.uk will want to make their own mash-ups from the information available.”
Yes, and we should be making mashups from our country’s data.gov for our library patrons too! Let’s get to it! I’ll be working on mine and will show you how it can be done.