This project aims to cover Brussels, metaphorically speaking of course, with a cloud of structured and interlinked information elements produced by “atomizing” a collection of relevant databases and other resources.
Linked Data is a global initiative to interlink resources on the Web using two “simple” technologies: Uniform Resource Identifiers (URI) for accessing the resources and the Resource Description Framework (RDF) for representing knowledge and annotating those resources. Various governments (UK, US, Germany) are launching initiatives to (a) make public sector data easily available with Linked Data and (b) encourage researchers to analyze the data as well as application developers to build applications around that data, in order to stimulate innovation, business and the general wealth of society. We believe the time and circumstances are right for Brussels to prepare for this evolution.
Clearly the meaningful exploitation of such interlinked cloud-type resources requires the adoption of semantic technology, in particular so-called ontologies, that contain computer representations of agreements on concepts, facts and rules. To this end we propose to provide a platform for communities to collaboratively create such ontologies through natural language (NL). Those ontologies can then be used for the publication of annotated information in databases on the Web, and/or assist the automatic annotation of resources such as videos and images. The multilingual nature of Brussels presents an additional challenge to be addressed.
More information on this research project is to be found at: http://research.vub.ac.be/centrum-vaktaal-communicatie/oscb