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LOD2 project meets in Prague to prepare for its last year

 

On October 7 and 8 members of the LOD2 project gathered for yet another plenary meeting with a goal to plan and discuss what shall be done in the upcoming half-year. This time, the meeting was hosted by the University of Economics in Prague, Czech Republic.

As the project entered its last year the main focus shifted to use case work, which should demonstrate how the software developed by the project’s partners can be applied in real-world settings. In particular, the use cases should show that the LOD2 Stack is built to outlive the LOD2 project.
The practical demonstrations of the LOD2 tools include four domains: media and publishing, data in enterprises, government data and data in public procurement. The work done in these areas should serve as a source of feedback to LOD2 Stack’s component owners in order to improve their quality and robustness. Besides LOD2-driven work, there are already a number of deployments of the LOD2 Stack. The widespread uptake of the LOD2 Stack by third parties provides hope that the results of the project will continue to be useful even after its end.

As was the case in the previous LOD2 plenary meeting in Amsterdam, the meeting’s main part was preceded by a side event involving local open data community. On the eve of the meeting on October 6 the Linked Open Cities meetup took place. The event was jointly organized in collaboration with Otakar Motejl Fund as the 7th in the series of Prague open data meetups. The meetup hosted five speakers, who provided short talks tackling the topics of linked and open data at the city level. The perspectives of the first three speakers from the LOD2 consortium, including Sebastian Hellmann, Thomas Thurner and Sander van der Waal, were complemented by local view on open data provided by Pavla Brady and Roman Řípa. The meetup concluded with informal discussion, which gave space to delve into related issues in depth.

As it was said before, “cities are the new frontier for open data”. The meetup indicated that cities, especially in the Czech Republic, lag behind the recent open data developments on the central governmental level, and thus they provide a wealth of challenges and new opportunities. It is likely that some of the LOD2 advancements will help to push this frontier of linked and open data even further.

What followed the meetup were two days focused on planning and preparing for the project’s last year, so that it can deliver on what it promised. As a brief intermission after the first day, the project’s members visited Žižkov Television Tower (allegedly the second ugliest building in the world) for a view of Prague lit with street lights, which was followed by joint dinner in a Czech pub with fine selection of beers from small local breweries. The second day was spent again with further discussions on how to proceed with the project.

Since the LOD2 project draws to close, the consortium members are beginning to tighten the remaining tasks. The forthcoming year of the project will be centred on what can be done with the developed tools that are packaged in the LOD2 Stack. As initial evidence suggests rather favourably, these results may very well outlast the project’s lifetime, being adapted as basis for linked data infrastructures built in the upcoming years.

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