Accessibility of Open Data

Open Data is not without challenges, however. In addition to making it available, there are the issues of accessibility and exploitability. In this, it resembles the concepts of the Semantic Web.

The main problems with using Open Data are technical in origin, because vast quantities of data cannot be processed by human beings.

Applying the concept of Linked Data to Open Data involves three mechanisms:

  1. 1

    Allowing the presence of the data on the network via a URI (this includes URLs).

  2. 2

    Lowering the cost of transforming the data by using standard machine-readable formats (such as RDF, RDFa or the microformats in HTML5).

  3. 3

    Improving the quality of data to prevent processing from altering it. A data warehouse, even with errors, is preferable to a biased warehouse. In this way, mechanisms governing the frequency and automation of data updates by data producers are possible using the SPARQL query language.

Open Data may only be checked by their producers (update checks) and can only be used by others if these three mechanisms are involved.

ELI's initiative

  • Making Open Data about European and Member State legislation available using unique, understandable and stable URIs.
  • Availability of structured metadata for this same information.
  • Introduction of ontology and associated RDF markup for this same information.