The Data Platform provides a simple forms based interface for creating new datasets and uploading data into them. The data is stored as RDF in BrightstarDB which is a triple store that implements the W3C standard SPARQL query language. Your data is queryable directly from a page on the Data Platform or via a simple web API.
Information about the dataset, such as the title, publisher and license, are stored as standardised VoID properties in the data store. The Data Platform helps to ensure that the data you publish is compliant with current standards and best practices regarding publishing Linked Open Data. Your web administrators can manage the creation and publication of datasets from the administration pages of the website.
Flat Data to Semantic Data
Currently your data is most likely stored in flat files, such as CSV or Excel documents, or within relational databases, such as SQL, that rely on a database schema for its structure. RDF data does not rely on a schema as information about each property is included when a value is attached to a resource.
Each resource (shown as circles on the image above) has a URI, such as http://www.yourcompany.com/data/visits/1
Any resource in your data can be mapped in the Data Platform to a Content Definition. A Content Definition provides a template page layout which is filled with the data taken from the resource. Without a Content Definition, visiting the address of a resource will show the user a simple tabular layout of the properties of that resource. By mapping resources to Content Definitions a far richer user experience can be created that includes any number of widgets displaying properties of that resource. For example, you may want to display:
- an embedded map showing the location of the resource
- lists of items that related to the resource
- charts displaying information about the resource data
- tables of data
The Data Platform integrates with Orchard CMS, this means that you can make use of the many functions also provided as part of their standard website CMS. It is simple to create additional pages of static content, modify the default site navigation menus, include image galleries, and blogs and so on.
Each project is unique, as every organisation will structure and store their data in different ways. In some cases, you may not choose to take every item of data your organisation collects and publish it as is to an Open Data platform. We can work with you to:
- Determine what data to publish.
- Convert your existing data into RDF
- Tailor your processes to regularly update your published data
- Display your data with custom widgets for a richer user experience
- Integrate data from other Linked Open Data endpoints to enrich the data you publish
We can also provide web hosting and ongoing support.