Martin Kaltenböck

GBPN Knowledge Platform using Semantic Technologies and Linked Open Data launched

The brand new web based GBPN Knowledge Platform has been launched on 21 February 2013. It helps the building sector effectively reduce its impact on climate change!

It has been designed as a participative knowledge hub and data hub harvesting, sharing and curating best practice policies in building energy performance globally. Available in English and soon in Mandarin, this new web-based tool of the Global Buildings Performance Network (GBPN) aims to stimulate collective research and analysis from experts worldwide to promote better decision-making and help the building sector effectively reduce its impact on climate change. To sustain and accelerate change in the building sector, the GBPN encourages open and transparent access to good quality and verifiable data. The data can be used and re-used in HTML, PDF and machine readable raw data (CSV) formats – provided by a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY 3.0 FR) license.

The GBPN Knowledge Platform is built on Drupal CMS and seamless connected with the PoolParty Semantic Information Management Platform of Semantic Web Company. Thereby this knowledge platform makes use of semantic technologies and Linked Open Data (LOD) principles and techniques under the hood. A lot of the available data of the various GBPN tools is provided as (linked) open data under a Creative Commons Attribution license. The Semantic Web Company is responsible for conceptual design and technical implementation of the GBPN Knowledge Platform.

As follows an overview and description of the most important features, tools and services of the information management system.

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Andreas Blumauer

It’s All about Finding the Needle in the Big Data Haystack

Wolters Kluwer Deutschland GmbH and Viennese Semantic Web Company agree on cooperating on the development of innovative and highly efficient products for data, information and metadata management.

Cologne/Vienna (February 05, 2013) – Wolters Kluwer Deutschland (WKD), knowledge and information service provider located in Cologne and the Austrian Semantic Web Company (SWC) act in collusion with each other. The aim of this cooperation is to offer the sustainable creation and targeted usage of domain specific thesauri and enterprise taxonomies based on Linked Data technologies as a market-ready and ready to use product.

Whereas WKD with its core competences in law, business, tax, finance and health is covering the domain and methodological dimension of the cooperation, SWC is contributing the technological know-how. Main target is to fulfill concrete needs and requirements of customers in a highly efficient and practical way.
“Our offering is addressing large national institutions like ministries, federal agencies and social insurances as well as banks. This includes also larger NGOs and administrations that have an international focus”, explains WKD content architect Christian Dirschl the direction of the cooperation. As with searching and finding the ‘proverbial needle in the data haystack’, we also address specialists like large law firms or smaller units in large enterprises, “who are specifically working on legal matters, making with their work an important contribution to the success of the company as a whole.” Especially knowledge domains like law, industry, tax and finance are getting more and more intransparent on global scale, Dirschl explains, “so that semantic technologies and Linked Data methods gain importance”.
Amongst others, the following services and products are offered, based on this cooperation:
  • Metadata management and enterprise thesaurus management
  • Semantic search and data integration
  • Text mining and knowledge extraction
  • Creation of knowledge networks and knowledge management systems
  • Supporting the creation of Linked Data and Open Data infrastructures
We observed in the last 10 years “how search and linking of information have gained importance in certain domains and what competitive advantages can evolve from that,” stresses Andreas Blumauer, managing director of SWC. “Our customer base profits from this cooperation. We immediately guarantee state-of-the-art technologies paired with professional domain assistance, e.g. with the creation of domain taxonomies and thesauri, so that information resources can be used more efficiently”, Blumauer says.

About Wolters Kluwer Germany
Wolters Kluwer Germany is an information services company specializing in the legal, business and tax sectors. Wolters Kluwer provides pertinent information to professionals in the form of literature, software and services. Headquartered in Cologne, it has over 1,200 employees located at over 20 offices throughout Germany and has been conducting business on the German market for over 25 years.
Wolters Kluwer Germany is part of the leading international information services company, Wolters Kluwer n.v., located in Alphen aan den Rijn (The Netherlands). The core market segments, targeting an audience of professional users, are legal, business, tax, accounting, corporate and finance services, and healthcare.  Its shares are quoted on the Euronext Amsterdam (WKL), and are included in the AEX and the Euronext 100 indices. Wolters Kluwer has annual sales of 3.4 billion Euros (2011), employs approx.19,000 people worldwide and has over 40 offices located throughout Europe, North America and Asia Pacific and in Latin America.
Andreas Blumauer

SKOS without SPARQL

Today PoolParty Team has announced the first official release of the PoolParty SKOS API.

This API can be installed in addition to a PoolParty Thesaurus Server 3.2 and offers an easy way to programmatically access data of a SKOS thesaurus via RESTful services. The SKOS API can be used without any knowledge about SPARQL .

This first release of the API offers web services to access thesaurus projects, concept schemes, concepts and SPARQL lists. In addition to basic SKOS querying, the API also supports the import of RDF data, SPARQL update and a service to push candidate terms into a thesaurus project triggered by any kind of application (like a CMS or a wiki).

Learn more about the PoolParty SKOS API.

Andreas Blumauer

Do you like Google’s Knowledge Graph?

Semantic Enterprise Search enters the second phase.

Finally the Knowledge Graph has arrived in Europe: What has been provided on google.com for the US-Market since May 2012, is now available also for most European countries. Search results are no longer only a list of documents (and advertisements) but also a mashup of facts, points of interest, events etc. referring to the search phrase.

For example, if the user is searching for ‘Wiener Philharmoniker’ (‘Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra’) a factbox including related searches is provided:

Do you like this rather new way of knowledge discovery? We do, except the fact that Google hasn´t properly explained to the audience which technology is behind the Knowledge Graph which is the Web of Linked Data aka the Semantic Web (Do you want to know more about the relationship between the Knowledge Graph and Linked Data? Click here).

But anyway, here are some benefits we can see, if search technologies make use of a ‘knowledge graph’, a ‘knowledge model’, a ‘thesaurus’ or generally spoken: Linked Data.

  • Facts around an object (or an entity) can be found nicely packed up to a dossier
  • Serendipity can be stimulated by ‘related searches’ which means: Users can discover the formely ‘unknown’ in a more comfortable way
  • Data from various sources can be pulled together to a mashup (e.g. ‘upcoming events’ could come from a different database than the basic facts of Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra)
  • Search phrases are well understood by the engine since they are based on concepts and not anymore on literals, e.g. if the user searches for ‘Red Bull Stratos’, also results for ‘Felix Baumgartner’ will be delivered
  • Search can be refined, e.g. if one searches for ‘Vienna’, a list of POIs will be displayed to refine the actual place the user is looking for

Now imagine you would have a search engine in your company’s intranet based on a knowledge graph which is about the enterprise you are working for.

Such an advanced search application would look like this:

  • Data streams and all kind of content from internal sources are nicely mashed with information from the web (e.g. from Twitter, Youtube etc.)
  • Search assistants are provided to help users to refine their information needs to make them more specific
  • Entities and their sub-concepts (e.g. subsidiaries of large companies or regions of countries) are nicely packed together to one dossier

The key question now is: “how to set up a customised knowledge graph for a certain company?”.

Corporate Semantic Web based applications can be realised on top of software platforms like PoolParty. They all have a customised knowledge graph in their core. This is always the basis for concept-based indexing of specialised content from a corporate intranet. The basic standard for this is SKOS which can be used together with advanced query languages like SPARQL. Such graphs can be used for semantic indexing but also to ask for relations like ‘is point-of-interest in’, ‘is event of’, ‘is related search for’ etc. This is the next-generation semantic search which help decision-makers, information professionals and all kind of knowledge workers to improve their work significantly.
One comfortable way to create customised knowledge graphs is to make use of Linked Data sources like Freebase (like Google does) or DBpedia. More details wanted? Take a look at the PoolParty approach for efficient knowledge modeling.