A Long Overdue Update on LODUM

Admittedly, it’s been a while since you last heard from us. But this does not mean that LODUM has been asleep. In fact, we have been quite active over the last months. In this post, we will give you a quick overview of the things we have been up to.

LIFE project

Last fall, we got funding from the German Research Foundation for a proposal we had put together in collaboration with our library. The project deals with Linked Data for eScience Services (LIFE) and will be running for two years. It is the first externally funded project in the context of LODUM. You can get all the details about it on the project website.

New team members

One of the great things about the LIFE project is that it allowed us to significantly expand our team. We have a very good mix of staff at different levels of their careers, from post-docs to undergraduate students. This will allow the team members to grow into their roles in the project and hopefully lead to a sustainable solution for our team, where we always have experienced team members on board to seamlessly include new staff.

CampusPlan app

Strictly speaking, the university’s Campusplan App is not a LODUM activity (even though it has been developed by some of our team members). The big news for us is, that it is entirely driven by LODUM data: Everything shown in the app comes from our SPARQL endpoint. You can download the app for iOS or Android, or simply visit app.uni-muenster.de with you mobile device for a test drive.

Code

Developing an app like this is a considerable effort – so why not share the code, so that others can learn from what we have done, and maybe tell us how to get better at what we are doing? We always had the feeling that at least some of the things we do might be of value for other developers. To collect all the code we are producing in one place, we have set up an organization account on GitHub. Besides the CampusPlan app, we already have some other repositories on github.com/lodum, with more to come in the next months.

Teaching

Linked Data has become an integral part of ifgi’s course curriculum over the last semester. We have taught classes on Linked Data Engineering and Linked Science, the Linked Open Data (R)Evolution, and embraced Linked Data as a core technology in the Spatio-Temporal Information in Society course. The outcome of this course – a biographic thesaurus for the region of Westphalia – is just getting the finishing touches and will be presented here soon. This line of courses continues with a course on Linked Citizen Science, which is about to start next week.

Events and publications

At the International Semantic Web Conference in Boston, we held the second workshop on Linked Science, which had some very interesting submissions and discussions again. The proposal for the next workshop at ISWC 2013 in Sydney is currently under review. Of the numerous publications with LODUM participation, I would like to highlight the Semantic Web Journal special issue on Linked Data for Science and Education that was published earlier this year. It gives a nice overview of the current research activities around the use of Linked Data in research and teaching environments.

A fresh look for lodum.de

If you have been to our website before, you may have noticed that we were running parts of it on Tumblr. While this was fine to kickstart LODUM, we were increasingly frustrated by the limitations, so we built an entirely new website. It runs WordPress in the back, with our own theme based on Bootstrap. This is also the basis for our data pages, which will be using this new layout soon.

With all those new activities, there will be a lot more to report in the coming months. We will keep you posted here on the blog – promised!

This is a post
on the LODUM blog.


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