Understanding the W3C’s Web Data Operations (talks about W3C Web Activity)

As we are exploring in this series of articles [1] and [2] the growth of the global data supply has brought interesting challenges and, among the ways to better exploit the potential of these data, the “Data Web” has been consolidating as the new paradigm for the next few years.

This is because more and more Web applications have been providing access to the data and consequently consuming it. From simple visualizations to sophisticated interactive tools, there is a growing reliance on data availability that can be “low” or “intense,” coming from different sources, and even in different formats. However, data has been published disconnected and uncoordinated from other publishers, much less without proper modeling and common vocabularies. In this context, the W3C has established W3C Data Activity [3] which recognizes and works to facilitate the potential for web-scale data integration and processing through a set of actions and guidelines that include standards for data exchange, models, tools, and guides for building the Web of Data.

The general view of W3C Data Activity [3] is that people and organizations should be able to share data as much as possible using their existing tools and developing practices that enable other users to generate derived data aggregating them with high value, the best they want. Going beyond the interoperability of the data, but of the producing communities and users.

The W3C Activity Data [3] is being developed in an integrated manner on the existing activities of Electronic Government ( eGovernment ) and Semantic Web, currently have the following working groups in activity:

  • Spatial Data on the Web Working Group [4] – aims to develop the best practices for publishing and consumption of geospatial data for the Web, aiming its integration with other datasets, the potential for the consumption of these data by machines;
  • RDF Data Shapes Working Group [5] – aims to develop a recommendation that establishes the structural limitations and validation of data described in RDF;
  • Linked Data Platform Working Group [6] – Objective development of a recommendation and standards for the integration of HTTP-based (RESTful) applications for reading and writing of Connected Data;
  • Data on the Web Best Practices Working Group [7] – aims to develop best practices for publishing and consuming data for the Web in order to develop an open data ecosystem, providing guides and guidelines for data publishers, especially promoting their reuse, as well as enhancing confidence around data by increasing its potential for generating new information
  • CSV on the Web Working Group [8] – Envisages the enhancement of technologies in which Web-dependent applications can provide greater interoperability when working with datasets using the CSV format commas) or similar formats.
  • Semantic Web Interest Group [9] – Formerly known as the Resource Description Framework(RDF)interest group, it aims to promote discussion on the development and use of the Semantic Web, including its technologies as RDF, OWL ( Ontology Web Language ), and SPARQL ( SPARQL Protocol and RDF Query Language ).
  • Semantic Web Health Care and Life Sciences Interest Group [10] – Aims to develop, encourage and support the use of the Semantic Web in the area of ​​medical care, life sciences and medical research.
  • Data Activity Coordination Group [11] – Aims the development and coordination of the entireWeb Data Activity.

Two other groups, no less important, closed their activities after completing relevant works that are:

  • RDF Working Group [12] – aimed at enhancing RDF including new desirable and important features for interoperability;
  • Also, the Government Linked Data Working Group [13] aimed at developing standards that support governments to publish their data in an effective and connected way using Semantic Web technologies. This group stood out for the production of important guides for the provision of government data, among them the “Good Practices for Publication of Connected Data” , a guide that will be explored in the next articles of this series.

Fortunately, despite the problematic of the previous article, the prospects can be promising considering all this wonderful work that has been developed by countless experts world-wide under the coordination of W3C. In the next articles we will be exploring the Data Web even further, trying to understand how it is being structured, the new concepts and relevant applications.

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