RAGLD Beta site released

The Beta version of the site for the RAGLD (Rapid Assembly of Geo-centred Linked Data applications) project was recently released. RAGLD is a collaborative project between the Ordnance Survey, the University of Southampton and Seme4. Its main aim is to build tools to enable developers to make greater use of geo-centred linked data.

The RAGLD project started in October 2011 and is due for completion in March 2013. It is part-funded by the Technology Strategy Board‘s “Harnessing Large and Diverse Sources of Data” programme.

The advent of new standards and initiatives for data publication in the context of the World Wide Web (in particular the move to linked data formats) has resulted in the availability of rich sources of information about the changing economic, geographic and socio-cultural landscape of the United Kingdom, and many other countries around the world. In order to exploit the latent potential of these linked data assets, the provision of access to tools and technologies that enable data consumers to easily select, filter, manipulate, visualise, transform and communicate data in ways that are suited to specific decision-making processes is needed.

This project will enable organisations to press maximum value from the UK’s growing portfolio of linked data assets. In particular, a suite of software components that enables diverse organisations to rapidly assemble ‘goal-oriented’ linked data applications and data processing pipelines in order to enhance their awareness and understanding of the UK’s geographic, economic and socio-cultural landscape will be developed.

A specific goal for the project will be to support comparative and multi-perspective region-based analysis of UK linked data assets (this refers to an ability to manipulate data with respect to various geographic region overlays), and as part of this activity the results of recent experimental efforts which seek to extend the kind of geo-centred regional overlays that can be used for both analytic and navigational purposes will be incorporated. The technical outcomes of this project will lead to significant improvements in the ability to exploit large-scale linked data sets for the purposes of strategic decision-making.

A presentation on the project can be found

Nigel Shadbolt gives opening keynote speech at Ordnance Survey Cambridge Conference

The conference took place from the 26th of June to the 1st of July. Professor Shadbolt discussed the Open Government Data initiative and crowdsourcing, which is the outsourcing of a large task to a group of people via an open call.

The conference, which is held every 4 years and was opened by acclaimed BBC reporter Kate Adie, is a forum for debate on geographical information for chief executives of national mapping organisations and other interested parties.

See UK – Compare Your Neighbourhood

In collaboration with the EnAKTing Project, Seme4 have produced See UK, a demonstrator that gives an end-user visualisation of multiple Open Datasets against a geographic background.

See UK
is a simple visualisation of data that has geographic aspects
and has been published as machine-interpretable Linked Data.

See UK uses data that has been sourced from data.gov.uk and processed
into Linked Data where necessary, but is also designed to be able to use
other sources where available. All the datasets are then enriched, by
calculating area totals from point data and inferring aggregate values
for regions that do not have explicit data values, and further
enriched by establishing linkage between the datasets.
These enriched datasets are available directly from the
EnAKTing Project,
and can be accessed using the links below.

The visualisation provides a view centred on a chosen region of
specified size, and most noticeably gives a “pie-chart” that shows the
viewer how that region compares with similar regions around it. It
is thus designed to focus on the information most relevant to the
user. Colour indicates the “worst” (red) and “best” (green) areas
from those shown. This pie-chart is shown in preference to simply
colouring the map itself, as a coloured map confuses the map
features with the data being visualised.
It also gives some context of the real geography
involved, so that a full picture is seen. The user can navigate by
looking and clicking on the pie-chart, or the map, and can thus move
around using whatever view they are taking of the data presentation. A
search by postcode functionality is also supported, aiding the user in
finding specific locations.

An important aspect of the visualisation is that cross-dataset
correlation can be achieved and presented in a natural fashion, as
the data can be viewed as normalised by population or area, in
addition to the raw values. The user can therefore see how regions
compare in terms of, for example, crime density by population or
area, rather than just knowing that their county has little crime,
and guessing this is because the county has a small population or

See UK has been produced as a collaborative activity between Seme4 Ltd.
and members of the EnAKTing project at the University of Southampton.
For further details please contact Hugh Glaser
or Ian Millard; feedback on this application is very