IATI Consultations Archive

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Linked Data

Background
There is significant value in creating a linked data rendering of the IATI data to support a range of different applications;
Donors may wish to host their own URIs to identify their activities, but many will not be in a place to do this, and third-party URIs will need to be provided;

Problem
If a system converts IATI data into linked data it has no way of discovering whether a URI already exists for an activity in order to defer to, or assert as a sameAs relationship with that activity data;

Proposal:
In the Organisation and Activity header information a @linked-data-default attribute is created with values of the form http://example.com/linked/{iati-identifier} which can provide a template for constructing linked data URIs;
In individual activity records an organisation can provide a @linked-data-uri attribute with a full URI for referring to that activity;

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7 Comments

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    Tim Davies

    A full paper proposing Linked Data standard changes is now available. 

    Overview:
    This paper sets out key considerations for making IATI data available as Linked Data. It proposes maintaining XML as the primary publishing format for IATI data, whilst agreeing an RDF Vocabulary for representing IATI as Linked Data. 

    It identifies a proposed decimal release modification to the standard which will support this, and highlights possible technical infrastructures which would help realise the maximum value from publishing IATI as Linked Data.

    Read the full paper at: http://bit.ly/J1i18N 

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    Bill Anderson

    We think that the link to a linked data identifier has merit, so this is going through to the decimal upgrade.

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    Bill Anderson

    Proposed addition to the activity standard

    • iati-activities/@linked-data-default (0..1) - a URI path upon which an activity identifier can be appended to get a dereferenceable URI for any activity contained within a file.  
    • iati-activity/@linked-data-uri (0..1) - a URI for a given activity (over-rides iati-activities/@linked-data-default if set)

    Guidance

    IATI publishers are not obliged to publish their own Linked Data. However, if a publisher chooses to publish linked data about their IATI activities then allowing them to declare where this data is published would support discovery of it, and any additional information they may choose to publish as Linked Data alongside it. For this reason the above-mentioned two new optional properties into the IATI standard are being added. Where a publisher declares using one of these properties that authoritative linked data is accessible for an activity then consuming applications that are generating Linked Data from an IATI XML file should assert an owl:sameAs relationship to the relevant URI.

     

     

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    Tim Davies

    Bill Anderson did suggest an alternative approach we could explore, which would be to use the Other Identifier field to give a URI identifier for any given activity. 

    Ideally this would involve addition of a @type attribute to that. (Types of 'Other' for alternative ID, 'URI' for an resolvable URI, and 'Authoritative-URI' or something similar for an authoritative URI  for the activity)

    We would add guidance to the effect that:

    To provide a linked data identifier for an activity enter the full URI in <other-identifier> with the appropriate type value. 

     


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    Steven Flower

    I notice that this attribute is not in the iati-organisation or iati-organisations elements.  Is this an oversight?

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    Tim Davies

    Essentially yes - though a slightly different approach may be needed for organisations - as an organisation record contains descriptions of:

    (a) An Organisation

    (b) Budgets

    which from a linked data perspective might be quite different sorts of entities and might belong in different namespaces. That is, the linked-data-identifier property might also want to be applied at different points within the iati-organisation block. 

     

    Ultimately the best way to work this out might be to focus on a reference implementation of doing IATI -> Linked Data.

    I wonder if Kasper at AKVO might be able to help with this - building on his MSc work.

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    Steven Flower

    Thanks Tim

    Understood.  I know we will want to look at such a reference implementation via TAG Working Groups.  Whilst this is not an indicator, we should also reflect that only one publisher engages with this element at the moment:

     

    http://dashboard.iatistandard.org/element/iati-activity_@linked-data-uri.html (unfortunately, they deploy the element and no values!)

    Finally - just want to note that it is obviously too late to include anything in the Organisation schema for 1.04.

     

     

     

     

     

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