Australian Government Linked Data Working Group

Showcase

The AGLDWG has a role to play in communicating the benefits and technical aspects of Linked Data across government. So, here are a list of Linked Data systems and datasets already implemented by Australian government agencies as well as a few foundational Linked Data introductory resources.

Below are listed some:

Click on the examples of each type of thing below to see a pop-up description of each with links to the original online.

Vocabularies

Much of linked Data relies on definitions, indeed the Semantic Web, which Linked Data is helping build, is predicated on strong definitions for web resources. Vocabularies, standardised in their structure and delivery according to Linked Data and Semantic Web principles provide online, look-up-able definitions for things which can be used much more easiy and powerfully than older vocabulary tools such as (paper) dictionaries, tables on web pages or XML code lists.

Here are two Linked Data vocabulary systems currently in use in the Australian Federal government:

Systems

There's many different systems that can claim to be "Linked Data Systems": really anything that helps supply Linked Data. Some of them are dedicated to Linked Data, such as RDF Triplestores and Linked Data API, others facilitate Linked Data along with other functions, such as general website content managment.

Below are a few examples of Linked Data systems currently in operation within Australian government.

Datasets

Here are some examples of Linked Data datasets. Yes, the list is small now but we will be adding to it very soon!

Ontologies

Ontologies are data models that express knowledge within a domain and are often more complex than vocabularies although vocabularies themselves are a form of ontology.

A great number of foundational, or fundamental, ontologies have been produced to cater for such broadly required concepts as time (TIME ontology) and simple authoring information Dublin Core and tracing changes to things over time (PROV-O, the provenance ontology) this Linked Data WG has produced an ontology to define properties for datasets within the data.gov.au catalogue.

LD Presentations

Here are a few presentations about Linked Data given by members of this group and other Linked Data experts

Australian Governments' Interactive Functions Thesaurus (AGIFT)

AGIFT website screenshot

AGIFT is a vocabulary delivered by the National Archives of Australia that lists functions performed by government. The web page delivering AGIFT is a system that allows for both human and machine-readable versions of the vocabulary formalised using the SKOS ontology.

The system used is the commercial PoolParty product.

Australian National Data Service' Research Vocabularies Australia

The ANDS provides a vocabulary hosting service for Australian government and academic users

ANDS' Research Vocabularies Australia portal

A search for the word 'rock' yields both individual terms ("Concepts") within vocabularies about rocks and whole vocabularies about them.

AGLDWG's Persistent ID Service

One of the core tasks of Linked Data is to uniquely and usefully identify resources - information items - on the web. This is usually done with URIs which are just a slight extension to web page URLs alowing for non-web page things to be linked to, e.g. vocabulary terms in machine-to-machine data formats.

The Linked Data WG uses an advanced web proxy, the PID Service that allows for fine-grained and semi-non-technical management of long-lived URIs. We use a PID Service within the data.gov.au domain to manage PIDs made with a series of subdomains, such as environment.data.gov.au, reference.data.gov.au and others that accord with the AGLDWG's URI Guidelines which indicates how to supply PIDs for use across government (tip: use PIDs associaeted with government functions, not organisations, as functions don't change, organisations do.

Screenshot of the environment.data.gov.au PID Service

Agencies with datasets in the environment domain of government functions, such as the Bureau of Meteolrology, can put Linked Data datasets online and use the proxying functions of this PID Service to create persistent identifiers for the datasets and their subcomponents which resolve to them, regardless of where and how they are implemented under the hood.

The PID URI http://environment.data.gov.au/def/op proxies to CSIRO "Observable Properties" ontology which is a Linked Data resource about environmental properties. It's hosted on a CSIRO system but the PID makes it accessible via a nice, ordered, URI that won't change, even if CSIRO changes things (it can be redirected).

Geoscience Australia's Samples API

Geoscience Australia's web API delivering metadata for physical samples stored in it's repositories. Multiple 'views' and 'formats' of samples' metadata is available, including the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative represented in RDF general purpose metadata, and more specialised metadata according to more sample-specialised schema, such as the W3C's Spatial Data on the Web's SOSA ontology.

The full catalogue ("Register" in Linked Data-speak) of all samples is available at http://pid.geoscience.gov.au/sample/ and W3C Data on the Web Best Practices are followed to allow for navigating the 2M samples.

GA's Samples Catalogue AU239

The Dataset Ontology

While there are many ontologies that deal with datasets, such as the simple, well-known and widely-used DCAT, the purpose of this ontology is to cover aspects of organisational custodianship and governance using formulations common in many of the more rigorous ontologies such as ORG, rather than DACt's simplistic constructs.

This ontology has the expressive power of the ISO's 19115 -- metadata for geographic information standard but, in using Linked Data and Semantic Web tools rather than the older XML, it is far more powerful.

The Dataset Ontology Landing Page in data.gov.au

The Australian Linked Data Cache


A cache of "Australian" Linked Data (i.e. LD attempted to be sourced from Australia only, but this is hard) is being worked on by University of Canberra students and Geoscience Australia.

This dataset will be presented here in August, 2017.

ACORN-SAT

"Experimental Environmental Linked-data published by the Bureau of Meteorology"

ACORN-SAT homepage

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) in collaboration with the National Plan for Environmental Information Initiative, the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) and the Information Engineering Laboratory of the CSIRO is providing experimental resources for Linked Data under lab.environment.data.gov.au. The data published under this domain makes data available in a Linked Data fashion, and illustrates some of the capabilities that can be developed with Linked Data.

Currently, the following environmental data sets are available as Linked Data:

See http://lab.environment.data.gov.au for more info.

FSDF's LINK graph

The LINK

The LINK is the Australian Government's Foundational Spatial Data Framework initiative's online database of input data, agencies and so on that contribute to its themed datasets.

The LINK is presented via a Content Management System that makes all of its contents available via dynamic web pages that draw from a database. A graph exporter tool has been written to export that databases' content RDF data in accordance with the LINK's OWL ontology.

Soon this data will be presented via a SPARQL endpoint also

GA's Public Data Ontology

The LINK

Geoscience Australia is moving to present all of its public online resources in accordinace with a single ontology: the GA Public Data Ontology.

The ontology describes how GA's datasets, services, vocabularies, vocab terms, licenses, samples and all other resources online represented in Linked Data are linked. Using the ontology you can see that a Service operatesOn Dataset(s) and that the cardinality is 1+, i.e. every GA Service will indicate at least one Dataset.

The ontology provides semantic beyond that able to be provided by a single legacy catalogue tool.

The FSDF's LINK ontology

The LINK

The Foundational Spatial Data Framework initiative's LINK system provides access to the input data, agencies, mandates and other items that make up the FSDF's themed datasets.

This ontology defines very precicely the items in the LINK and allows them to be expressed in RDF. The ontology mostly re-uses well-known ontologies, such as PROV and DCAT with the belief that maximum reuse of existing ontologies leads to better understanding of concepts expressed.

The ontology provides semantic beyond that able to be provided by a single legacy catalogue tool.

Machine Readable Australian Curriculum

Machine Readable Australian Curriculum

"On behalf of ACARA, Education Services Australia publishes a machine readable version of the Australian Curriculum. The Australian Curriculum is published in machine readable form, using the Resource Description Framework (RDF). This uses Semantic Web technologies for an extensible encoding of metadata about the curriculum, expressed through relations between URIs."