Article about RDFa and Open Government

This is a link to an article by Mark Birkbeck on RDFa and Open Government. It introduces the problems goverments have in managing their information and serving to the public, then outlines how RDFa, which introduces RDF into HTML documents, addresses these problem and provides for highly productive and readable web-documents.
Copyright © 2009 Adam Wyner

Meeting with John Sheridan on the Semantic Web and Public Administration

I met today with John Sheridan, Head of e-Services, Office of Public Sector Information, The National Archives, located at the Ministry of Justice, London, UK. Also at the meeting was John’s colleague Clare Allison. John and I had met at the ICAIL conference in Barcelona, where we briefly discussed our interests in applications of Semantic Web technologies to legal informatics in the public sector. Recently, John got back in contact to talk further about how we might develop projects in this area.
Perhaps most striking to me is that John made it clear that the government (at least his sector) is proactive, looking for research and development projects that make government data available and usable in a variety of ways. In addition, he wanted to develop a range of collaborations to better understand the opportunities the Semantic Web may offer.
As part of catching up with what is going on, I took a look around the web for relatively recent documents on related activities.

In our discussion, John gave me an overview of the current state of affairs in public access to legislation, in particular, the legislative markup and API. The markup is intended to support publication, revision, and maintenance of legislation, among other possibilities. We also had some discussion about developing an ontology of goverment which would be linked to legislation.
Another interesting dimension is that John’s office is one of a few that I know of which are actively engaged to develop a knowledge economy partly encouraged by public administrative requirements and goals. Others in this area are the Dutch and the US (with All very promising and discussions well worth following up on.
Copyright © 2009 Adam Wyner

Session I of "Automated Content Analysis and the Law" Workshop

Today is session I of the NSF sponsored workshop on Automated Content Analysis and the Law. The theme of today’s meeting is the state of judicial/legal scholarship in order to:

  • Identify the theoretical and substantive puzzles in legal and judicial scholarship which might benefit from automated content analysis
  • Discuss the kinds of data/measures that are required to address these puzzles which automated content analysis could provide.

Further comments later in the day after the session.
–Adam Wyner
Copyright © 2009 Adam Wyner

London GATE Users Group

At the recent GATE Summer School in Sheffield, there was some discussion among people from London to form an occasional, informal users group where GATE users based in London can arrange to meet to go over tutorials, develop tutorials, discuss how we work with GATE, help one another with problems, and generally have a bit of a blab over tea with others who have similar interests.
As the informal organiser of this informal group, I thought my blog (which touches on topics related to text analytics) might be an acceptable place to announce and maintain the group. If things really get going, then perhaps the group will hive off to its own site.
I would like to suggest Thursday, August 20 in the early evening (e.g. 19:00) as our first meeting time. Likely the meeting would be till 20:30. Place (somewhere in central London — Covent Garden/Leicester Square) to be announced. Please let me know if this time and vicinity suits you, as we are looking to have more than one person show up.
Likely people will bring laptops, but we’ll try to arrange a projector as well for public show and tell. If you have something you would like to discuss or show, that would be good, but we can always find something to do and discuss.
It is an open group, and if you would like to be kept informed of any upcoming meetings, please send an email to Adam Wyner ( Feel free also to join this blog as one way to keep in touch with this group.
The group currently has the following participants:

  • Dipti Garg (Fizzback)
  • Hercules Fisherman (Fizzback)
  • Adam Wyner (University College London)
  • Auhood Alfaries (Brunel University)
  • Helen Flatley (EqualMedia)
  • Gerhard Brey (King’s College London)
  • Daniel Elias (Hawk Ridge Capital Management)
  • Renato Souza (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais)

We look forward to our first meeting and to hearing from other people who may be interested in working with GATE. Comments on this topic are very welcome.
Adam Wyner