Publishing Linked Open Data of Austria at the Vienna Create Camp 11

Submitted by fago on Sun, 10/09/2011 - 18:03
The last weekend I attended the Vienna Create camp 11, a great event for collaboratively creating applications related to open data and accessibility. 6 members of Drupal Austria formed a team to make use of open data published by the cities of Vienna and Linz. Unfortunately, it turned out that the data is published in various different data structures and formats, so re-using the data in an efficient manner is hard. It's nice to see that the city of Linz is using CKAN to publish the data, so there is some basic information about the data sources (format, url, ..) available. However, still each data set is published using different data structures, so making use of a data source requires writing or configuring a specific adapter. So, we've started "drupalizing" the data by using feed importers, whereby we've configured one content type and feeds importer per data source. Fortunately, once the data is in Drupal we can use it with all of Drupal's tools. So publishing the data as Linked Open Data is as easy as enabling the "rdf" module of Drupal and providing some meaningful mappings. For that, we've made use of Schema.org vocabularies as far as possible. Now, all imported data items are available via RDFa, RDF, JSON or XML. But most convenient is probably the Sparql endpoint, which enables one to directly query the published datasets. So finally, we have real Linked Open Data of Austria - yeah! Then, we've made use of Openlayers with some nice base layers from the TileStream powered kartenwerkstatt.at to create nice looking maps - check out the demonstration site. Next, we've published our open data features at drupal.org, so everyone can easily make use of our work and quickly use all that data by using Drupal. See http://drupal.org/project/odv. Unfortunately, the data of the city of Linz required some custom massaging in order to get proper geo coordinates from the project they used. Thus, we were not able to create easy to use feeds configurations for Linz as we've done for Vienna. Maybe the city of Linz improves that in the future...