E. Galiotou & P. Fragkou
Dept. of Informatics, Technological Educational Institute of Athens, Greece,
Transactions with the public sector are greatly facilitated by the use of information extracted from Open Government Data i.e. governmental data freely available on the Web (http://www.w3.org/TR/gov-data/). Although this information is open to anyone, it is often organized and published in a chaotic way. That is, links between related information located in different web sites or, worse, in the same website are practically inexistent. Thus, a need to convert Open Government Data to Linked Open Data is created. The Linked Data paradigm (http://linkeddata.org/) involves practices to publish, share and connect data on the Web and provides a new way of data integration and interoperability. It uses the RDF data model to publish structured data on the Web, and RDF links to interlink data from different sources. .
An interesting case of open government data is that of the ERMIS Greek government portal for Public Administration (http://www.ermis.gov.gr/portal/page/portal/ermis/) which provides, among others, information related to the Directive 123/2006/EC aiming at simplifying the procedure of practicing a profession by a European citizen in another member state.
The implementation of this Directive requires from each member state the provision of a dedicated portal named Point of Single Contact (PSC) which must contain information regarding the required supporting documents for each service activity (for example Operation License to Tour Guide’s) as well as all related information in two languages i.e. the one of the member state and English. Each service activity is categorized into one or more categories according to the European Classification of Economics Activities (NACE) which is the European reference framework for the production and the dissemination of statistics related to economic activities.
The content describing each service activity, was based on the e-GIF ontology (http://www.e-gif.gov.gr/portal/page/portal/egif/) which is part of the Greek e-Government Interoperability Framework, a survey containing a list of rules for the provision of e-Government services to public bodies, businesses and citizens in a unified manner, addressed to all Greek Public Administration . However, the way that service activity information is organized in the Greek PSC (http://gis.ermis.gov.gr/sdportal/) provides no interconnection between related service activities. Therefore, a need for transforming this case of Open Government Data to Linked Open Data has emerged.
Our approach to transforming this publically available data to Linked Open Data comprises –among others- 2 steps :
- Create appropriate links between pages belonging to our core dataset. To this end, we are working on enriching the e-GIF ontology with the necessary concepts, properties and relations in order to meet the requirements of semantic interconnections. Links via RDF will be created on the basis of this enriched ontology. Once the appropriate annotations are performed, the user will be able to navigate to all relevant information .
- Examine potential interconnections with other datasets. In fact, these connections are to be established between the English contents of the sites using the DBpedia ontology as the common ontology (http://wiki.dbpedia.org/about). Linkage between different sites can be performed via their pages which are written in English. Thus, European citizens who want to exert a profession in any European country and want to choose the country that requires the least supporting documents, will be able to navigate from a country’s website to another in order to find their desired target country.
Once the RDF links are created, they will also be used for other purposes, such as the extraction of statistical results, for example: (a) in which service activities a certain supporting document is required? (b) which service activity requires the minimum number of supporting documents? etc. Statistical results can be used by public authorities in order for them to obtain an overview of the difficulties of exerting a profession and perform administrative simplification actions. We strongly believe that, through such actions, business reinforcement will be encouraged in our country.
- Bizer, C., Heath, T. & Berners-Lee, T.(2009).Linked Data – The Story so Far. edited by: T. Heath, M. Hepp, C. Bizer International Journal on Semantic Web and Information Systems (IJSWIS), 5 (3), 1-22.
- Fragkou, P. Galiotou, E., Matsakas, M. (forthcoming). Enriching the e-GIF Ontology for an improved application of Linking Data Technologies to Greek Open Government Data. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences
- Galiotou, E., & Fragkou, P. (2013). Applying Linked Data Technologies to Greek Open Government Data: A Case Study. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 73, 479-486.
- Sourouni, A-M., Lampathaki, F., Mouzakitis, S., Charalabidis, Y., & Askounis, D., (2008) Paving the way to e-Government Transformation: Interoperability Registry Infrastructure Development, DEXA eGOV 2008 Conference (Sept. 3-7, 2008, Torino)