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Publishable summary

The SmartOpenData project has completed the creation of a Linked Open Data ‐LOD‐ infrastructure extended throughout Europe. This research infrastructure has five
different pilots as one of its most visible outcome. Nevertheless, those tools and applications are well grounded on several data modelling and data harmonization processes.

The SmartOpenData information environment has been fed, in most cases, by public and freely available existing sources for biodiversity and environment protection and research in rural and European protect areas, National Parks and tourist locations. However, SmartOpendata, has gone further in some specific cases, by publishing datasets that are not completely public or freely available for Citizenship.

In this context, SmartOpenData has reused and recycled existing information from several sources such as public open data portals like GEOSS/GEO Portal, INSPIRE and voluntary data sources like OpenStreetMap. Accordingly, the SmartOpenData infrastructure is based, in first instance, on existing software applications and datasets. Nevertheless, in this second iteration, the project has also developed its own tools and has made public several new datasets using completely innovative publication tools and techniques, at least in regard to geospatial information systems.

Given the asymmetric situation of public data registries and publication across Europe, SmartOpenData, within its scope, has carried out some general tasks in regards to information processing and publication. In each project scenarios, the required datasets and the owners of that information have been sought out. As the original formats were found to be various and inhomogeneous, SmartOpenData partners have selected the most suitable tools for refining, transforming and publishing the data in each specific case or, in some cases, they have developed completely new applications. However, in context of LOD, data publication is just one of the results that could be obtained. Final users demand more than just the information and data and, consequently, the project has made publically available all of the data models and ontologies that accurately describe the generated datasets that are published as LOD.

Therefore, SmartOpenData has defined mechanisms and strategies for searching, acquiring, adapting and publishing Open Data provided by existing sources regarding biodiversity and environment protection in rural and European protected areas and National Parks. The LOD obtained thereby has been used to solve specific semantic queries. As a secondary, but no less important outcome, in addition to the technical aspects and results, SmartOpenData has helped to reduce the gap between the geospatial community and Semantic Web movement led by international standards bodies and universities. Indeed, SmartOpenData has focused on how LOD can be explained to and disseminated into the geospatial community and applied generally to spatial data resources.

At this time, there are several issues that have already been properly answered regarding GIS systems and datasets, but there are still open questions in the context of spatial data as LOD. For example, small geometries encoding or the implementation of topological functions have implemented correctly but those processes could be improved. The vision of the SmartOpenData project in this second period has been widely confirmed: there are many different environmental information sources and their level of openness is varied. And, as a direct consequence, the economic value of the datasets can be greatly improved through its wide public exposition in a proper way.
As a final objective, SmartOpenData contacted several SMEs and stakeholders to offer them the results of the project, with the conviction that the power of Linked Open Data will foster innovation within the environmental sector.

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