Monday, May 28, 2007

Geist: Open Data and Open Access
In an article in the Toronto Star ("Science and Tech Strategy a Missed Opportunity"; archived version) Michael Geist is strongly advocating that the new Canadian government's science and technology strategy go further, and mandate the Open Access for articles derived from publicly -supported research, those supported by the Federal research funding agencies (NSERC, SSHRC, CIHR, etc), as well as the opening of publicly-supported research data ("raw scientific data"). This to better support re-use by both industry and researchers without the existing complicating and onerous licensing regimes that encumber these data.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

NSF Community-based Data Interoperability Networks (INTEROP) Proposal Solicitation

A solicitation for proposals has been issued by the NFS's US National Science Foundation Office of Cyberinfrastructure with the goals of funding projects supporting the re-use and re-purposing of data, data discovery, interoperability and "consensus-building activities and for providing the expertise necessary to turn the consensus into technical standards with associated implementation tools and resources."

Scientific data is very expensive to acquire, and much of it cannot be reproduced, due to its temporal nature. Vast resources of data acquired through publicly-funded research languish due to the lack of archiving of these data sets. Much of this exists on the hard-drives and (yes) floppy disks of researchers, much of which is thrown away when the researcher retires.

Both due to the loss of dataset, and the lack of standard metadata (some disciplines are better off than others) and tools for the discovery and use (interoperability) of existing data sets, re-use and re-purposing of data is -- at present -- very limited, and the kind of unforeseen and creative use of data analogous to the Web 2.0 mashups are not possible. The metastudies and metasyntheses that are often more revealing and more powerful than the original works need to be made possible.

Thanks to Cliff Lynch (CNI) for pointing out this solicitation.

Additional references:

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I am at WWW2007 only for today (Thursday) after attending the W3C meeting on Sunday -- Tuesday. I must say that I regret not registering for the rest of the WWW2007 conference, as it has moved to what I believe to be a more relevant, robust venue for web research and activities.

This morning I attended the panel session "Building a Semantic Web in Which Our Data Can Participate" session, moderated by Paul Miller of Talis, with panelists

  • Steve Coast (OpenStreetMap)
  • Peter Murray-Rust (University of Cambridge)
  • Rob Styles (Talis)
  • Jamie Taylor (Metaweb)
It was a very good panel, although the discussion revolved more around getting access to data as opposed the the Semantic Web aspect.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

"Everyone uses Linux, because everyone uses Google" - Tim O'Reilly
Tim O'Reilly points out in his presentation at the W3C AC meeting at Banff, Alberta, that since Google is the largest deployed Linux app (the backend Google farm is Linux boxen), and since everyone uses Google, therefor everyone uses Linux.

"Embracing Web 3.0"

In IEEE Internet Computing, Ora Lassila and James (Jim) Hendler discuss Web 3.0 in their Embracing Web 3.0 as a union of (some) parts of Web 2.0 and the Semantic Web.

Monday, May 07, 2007

W3C AC Meeting
I've made my way to Banff, Alberta for the May 2007 W3C advisory committee (AC) meeting (I am the NRC's W3C AC rep). I will be reporting on various aspects of the meeting.