Sharing the successes, frustrations and experiences of using geographic information on the Web

Geographic information (GI) is a major element in defining context for knowledge that can then be exposed in many different ways to end users. The potential societal, economic and scientific benefits of integrating GI into commercial and institutional processes is huge. Many of the datasets here on and in the UK National Information Infrastructure (NII) demonstrate the potential that location plays in placing the data in context.

The use of appropriate markup to create a substantial network effect is of acute importance in the public sector. The UK has overcome a number of challenges to advance the use of URIs as persistent identifiers, in particular in our implementation of the the INSPIRE directive, but we need to do more. Clear guidance on the minting and use of URIs as identifiers in geographical and environmental data in line with the INSPIRE directive is needed and likely to have a high impact.

Why is this important?

A clear strategy for integrating GI with data on the Web is paramount to fulfilling the vision that underpins data on the Web. Commercial operators, including search engines, invest a great deal of time and effort in generating geographical databases that are mirrors of Web content with the geographical context often added manually or at best semi-automatically. This process would be aided substantially if data were published with the appropriate geographic information at the source, thus allowing discovery and access using the standard mechanisms of the Web.

It's this desire to work with multiple data sets in different formats about different topics and link those with the powerful technologies used in geospatial information systems that is behind the Linking Geospatial Data workshop. The programme committee have all experienced the successes and difficulties in different communities tackling these issues.

How can geographic information best be integrated with other data on the Web? How can we discover that different facts in different data sets relate to the same place, especially when 'place' can be expressed in different ways and at different levels of granularity?

On behalf of the Smart Open Data project, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), in partnership with the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and the OGC GeoSPARQL Standards Working Group, the UK Government Linked Data Working Group, Google and Ordnance Survey, invites you to share your experiences, successes and frustrations in using GI on the Web.

Participation in the workshop is by accepted position paper and will take place at Google Campus London on Wednesday 5th - Thursday 6th March, 2014.

Post by the #LGD14 Workshop Chairs and Programme Committee