Government Linked Data: A Tipping Point for the Semantic Web

  • 2011-03-14
  • Research

From the Public Lecture in Business Informatics: Trends in e-Commerce 2010/2011

This presentation takes place from 17:00-18:30 in Seminarraum Zemanek, Favoritenstrasse 9-11 (1040 Vienna), ground floor.


Governments around the world collect information. This information is often non-personal public sector information. It relates to transport and education, health and the environment, business and leisure. Publishing and releasing this information in a machine readable way could lead to huge economic and social improvements. It would also make the process of Government more transparent and give rise to new classes of information business.

This talk will outline developments in the UK and US which are showing the potential of building a Web of Open Linked Data using Semantic Web Standards. It will discuss the technical as well as social and cultural challenges. It will show examples of the applications that can result. It will consider the impact this could have across a number of dimensions.


Nigel Shadbolt is Deputy Head (Research) of the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton. He is a Director of the Web Science Trust, and of the Web Foundation – organisations that seek to advance our understanding of the Web and promote the Web’s positive impact on society.

In June 2009 together with Sir Tim Berners-Lee he was appointed a Government Information Advisor to help transform public access to Government information – work which resulted in the site. In May 2010 the Coalition Government appointed him to the Public Sector Transparency Board that will oversee public data release. He is also Chair of the Local Public Data Panel within the Department of Communities and Local Government - this seeks to coordinate and promote local open data release. More details of his research and other activities can be found at


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