The 5 pilots that form the core of the SmartOpenData project are very diverse but the INSPIRE data model and infrastructure provide a common reference point. As far as possible, the project will therefore use INSPIRE as the basis for the data structures in each pilot. However; the INSPIRE guidelines have been defined in terms of XML and GML-based schemas, i.e. using non-Linked Data technologies. Some work has already been done to use Linked Data in the context of INSPIRE, notably in the GeoKnow project. The JRC is itself in the process of making the INSPIRE schemata available as RDF/OWL but this work is not yet complete and most of what has been done is not yet publicly available.
By examining the work done in GeoKnow, and by communicating with the JRC and other individuals involved in their work, SmOD partners have been able to make good progress in creating an Initial Data Model that uses Linked Data techniques. As with all such data models, it can readily be extended to cover particular domains and this will certainly happen in each of the pilots, but the initial model provides a core and an approach that can be built upon.
It is expected that the Initial Data Model this will need to be updated later in the project in the light of two factors:
- experience of running the pilots;
- the eventual publication by the JRC of the RDF schemas for INSPIRE.
Such updates are likely to be relatively minor compared with the bigger hurdle being tackled in each pilot which is to adapt and extend existing data infrastructure to make use of Linked Data technologies and realise the benefits that it offers.