News from the LODUM headquarters and all things Linked Open Data.

A linked data based web application will be presented as a student contribution by Friedrich Müller at the FOSSGIS Conference (11-13 March 2015) in Münster (  read the abstract ). The application shows dynamic geovisualizations of the exploration of cause-effect relationships between cancer types and environmental substances.

More information you can find here: “Linked Data basierter Explorer für krebsrelevante Ursache-Wirkungs-Beziehungen im raum-zeitlichen Kontext” (german version) and on Github (https://github.com/lodum/CancerExplorer).

The paper entitled “Automated Generation of Indoor Accessibility Information for Mobility-Impaired Individuals” by Nemanja Kostic and Dr Simon Scheider has been accepted at the AGILE 2015 conference, taking place 9 – 12 June in Lisbon.  The paper proposes a methodology to automate the extraction of information on the accessibility of indoor spaces, starting with CAD floor plans.  Simulation of movement is used to compute the accessible space of an indoor environment by comparing the degree of match between geometrical demands of navigation in a wheelchair and the relevant physical properties of the environment.  The authors also investigate digital representations of indoor environments and adopt the grid graph model as suitable both for running simulations and for deriving higher-level networks of indoor places and their connections.  These can be used to communicate the results of the simulations to users of assistive navigation systems in a way that more closely resembles the ways humans conceive of and communicate about space.

How can linked data help to describe and search library media?
The articleContent and context description – How linked spatio-temporal data enables novel information services for libraries (Authors: Simon Scheider, Auriol Degbelo, Werner Kuhn, Holger Przibytzin) to appear in gis.Science takes a look at the question. It discusses the usefulness of linked spatio-temporal data for the realization of tasks such as the description, searching and analysis of media, and illustrates the ideas presented through examples from LODUM and related work.
Congrats to the authors!

Simon Scheider, Jim Jones, Alber Sánchez and Carsten Keßler won the best paper award for Encoding and Querying Historic Map Content presented last week at AGILE conference in Castellón, Spain. In the paper, the authors provide a formal means to encode Historic Map content. They also present a tool to georeference and enrich historic maps content using external sources.

Congratulations to all!





Little Steps Towards Big Goals. Using Linked Data to Develop Next Generation Spatial Data Infrastructures (aka SDI 3.0) is the title of our short paper to be presented this week at the AGILE Conference 2014 in Castelló, Spain.

This paper is the outcome of a collaboration between the LIFE team and the Polish research group on Geosemantic Web and Linked Open Geodata, WOGIS.

The authors illustrate the benefits and potential of the Linked Open Data and the Semantic Web approach to support and enrich SDI applications, and emphasize the use of the LOD4WFS Adapter. The LOD4WFS Adapter was proposed by Jones et al., 2014 and offers an alternative for multi-perspective GI applications, creating on-demand data sets based on multiple GI data sources, and exposing this information using the OGC WFS Standard.

We are happy to announce we have two full papers accepted for AGILE 2014:

  • Simon Scheider, Jim Jones, Alber Sanchez and Carsten Keßler: Encoding and querying historic map content. The paper suggests an approach to describe historic map content and ways to formally encode  historic map content, allows the formulation of queries based on semantic content in maps.

AGILE 2014, the 17th AGILE Conference on Geographic Information Science, will be held in Castellón (Spain) from June 3rd to June 6th 2014.

Most Geographic Information Systems (GIS) do not support the usage of Linked Open Data thus, we believe that combining both worlds; Linked Open Data (LOD) and Geographic Information Systems has a great potential to improve accessibility and interoperability in Geographic Information Systems.
Linked Open Data approach links data from different sources in the Web, and so is creating a rich network of information, a former master student from MSc. Geoinformatics course, at the University of Münster, Germany, demonstrated that the usage of geographic LOD datasets as data sources for WFS is perfectly feasible.
Jim Jones is the author of the master thesis and is now Research Associate at the Institute for Geoinformatics in the University of Munster for the LIFE project. In his master thesis explored and discussed the benefits of Linked Open Data as a data source for OGC Web services, giving a solution on how it can be technically linked in GIS. His Master thesis called “Making the Web of Data Available via Web Feature Services” goes trough an overview of Linked Geographic Data, showing how it is described in different vocabularies, describing also the Web Feature Service standards and exploring it’s capabilities through its standard operations. He provides a Server application for publishing Geographic Linked Open Datasets via Web Feature Services as a result of his thesis, which can be found on github.
To share your thoughts and future work initiatives you can address him at <jim.jones@uni-muenster.de> .

The Institute for Geoinformatic’s Semantic Interoperability Lab (MUSIL) offers a part time vacancy as a student collaborator (SH 10) in the LIFE project. Work load is 10 hour per week.

The main tasks are:

  1.  Programming LIFE ETL processes, in order to seamlessly integrate all kinds of resources, from articles and books over maps to row data to thus, improve interdisciplinary collaboration in science and education fields.
  2. Search Linked Data interfaces for retrieving content through spatio-temporal queries using SPARQL.

Requirements are a background or interest in one of the following areas:

  •    Web development
  •    Semantic web technologies / linked data
  •    eScience / Science 2.0 / open science
  •    Geographic information science (geoinformatics)
  •     German language skills are an asset, but not required.


For further information email us to,  Auriol degbelo@uni-muenster.de or/and Elisabet e_adev01@uni-muenster.de

Linked Data for eScience Services (LIFE) is a two-year project funded by the German Research Foundation, jointly carried out by the Semantic Interoperability Lab (MUSIL) at Institute for Geoinformatics (http://ifgi.uni-muenster.de) and the University Library (http://ulb.uni-muenster.de) at University of Münster. The overall goal of LIFE is to facilitate sharing of research data and thus, improve interdisciplinary collaboration in science and education. The approach addresses all kinds of resources, ranging from articles and books through maps to raw data.

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.


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.


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!