oeGOV Initiative Aims to Improve Government Transparency through Semantic Web Vocabularies – Press release

TopQuadrant Publishes Government Ontologies to Create Standard Data Exchange

International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC) 2009 – WASHINGTON, D.C. – October 27, 2009 – TopQuadrant™, the global leader in Semantic Web application development technology, today announced oeGOV, an initiative for creating an open, W3C Semantic Web standards-based set of ontology models to encourage and facilitate the use of linked government data. The overarching goal of oeGOV is to make the vision of Semantically Linked Open Data a reality throughout the government sector, with an initial focus on U.S. government civil branches, agencies, departments, offices and state government.

“The Semantic Web offers a unique opportunity to increase citizen access to information about published government activities and data,” said Ralph Hodgson, CTO of TopQuadrant. “We expect the oeGOV initiative to improve the accountability of policy making by improving government transparency. By publishing ontologies for eGovernment, we will improve the distribution, navigation, integrity, interpretation and interoperability of published government data.”

TopQuadrant is spearheading the project by publishing the first set of ontologies at oeGOV.org, which include OWL representations of about 500 U.S. government civil bodies, models of the Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA), developed with GSA and the QUDT ontologies for units of measure, developed with NASA ARC. TopQuadrant invites others, particularly U.S. government agencies, to participate in the oeGOV effort. Interested parties can subscribe to the oeGOV blog at www.oegov.us/blog/.

The oeGOV initiative intends to interpret government data through precise semantics and controlled vocabularies, including geospatial and temporal aspects. Correlations and comparisons of data will be possible through the standardization of neutral models for data exchange, units of measure and transformation, along with an ontology for units of measure.

“There is government information that belongs in the hands of the governed,” said Dean Allemang, Chief Scientist at TopQuadrant. “But until very recently, most of this data had been published in idiosyncratic, disconnected forms. Semantic Web technologies provide an unparalleled capability for making public data genuinely available to the general populace. With new policies for information sharing in place, there is a wide appreciation of the need for sharable, connectable government information.”

oeGOV is a continuation of TopQuadrant’s commitment to eGovernment. In 2003, TopQuadrant co-organized the first Semantic Web technology conference for eGovernment at the White House Conference Center, which focused on the importance of sharing of data using the web infrastructure. Since then TopQuadrant has supported ontology development at a number of government agencies, including NASA and GSA. Several of these ontologies will be available through the oeGOV initiative.

For those interested in hands-on training for creating applications using government information published on linked data sites, TopQuadrant’s Dean Allemang will lead a course at ISWC entitled, ‘Building Semantic Web Applications for Government.’ This half-day tutorial draws on information-sharing projects such as the Federal Enterprise Architecture and resources at open government web sites such as oegov.org to provide attendees with a taste of real Semantic Web government. Attendees will learn the basics of the Semantic Web, as well as proven methods for accessing and combining existing information sources (e.g., spreadsheets, XML feeds and databases).

About TopQuadrant
TopQuadrant is the global leader in Semantic Web application development technology, solution services and training programs. Established in 2001 with the mission to enable enterprises to be agile through practical application of Semantic Web technologies, TopQuadrant offers TopBraid Suite, the only Semantic Web platform with a graphical application assembly toolkit and end-user customizable tools to discover, explore and visualize relevant data without programming. TopQuadrant’s Semantic Web applications enable enterprises to master the challenges of the global marketplace by becoming more agile, reducing costs and creating competitive business processes that easily adapt to change. The company’s customers include Fortune 1000 corporations in retail, pharmaceutical, financial services, medical/healthcare, manufacturing, and energy industries as well as government agencies in the areas of defense, intelligence and airspace. For more information, visit www.topquadrant.com.


TopQuadrant, TopBraid, TopBraid Suite, TopBraid Ensemble, TopBraid Live, TopBraid Composer, TopBraid Composer Maestro Edition, SPARQLMotion, the TopQuadrant logo, and “Composing the Semantic Web” are trademarks of TopQuadrant Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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