|1||Please provide a short description of the state-of-the-art and/or current trends in the field? How does the result fit into it?|
|The latest evolutional step of the Web in its early semantic form of Web 3.0, has been a true catalyst and the main drive behind an impressive expansion of the Open Government Data initiative. The initiative highlights the significance of open public data and their leading role in the information era around the globe. Huge amounts of these data are daily produced and exchanged in the dense, urban environments of modern smart cities. These social ecosystems, are in fact shaped under the rising requirement of people to communicate and to have appropriate and timely access to all non sensitive, public information. Until now it was inconceivable to even consider such informational needs, let alone the services to meet them. Nevertheless innovative technologies of the Semantic Web, are currently mature enough to face some if not all of the issues associated with information. Linked Data is such an example and among others the most widely accepted method for exposing data on the Semantic Web. Scientists and governments around the world already value their potential and the benefits that applications and services based on them can bring.
Refering to the Greek Government, it too is a producer, collector and owner of such volumes of public data. Every day its public sector services produce, collect and exchange them in great amounts. These rich in informational value data are the kind of raw input that under appropriate processing is capable of driving smart applications to serve different functions and levels of the public administration bodies, improve upon government efficiency and stimulate economic growth.
In the past most of this information remained dispersed and isolated and only a negligible part was available. It was just on 2006 that the Greek Government readily consented to the Public Sector Information directive, (PSI:2003/98/EC) and encouraged its public sector bodies to make their non sensitive information available through their portals. Although in the right direction, this significant improvement did not provide the means to extract and exploit the available informational value. As a result, it did not cater for issues such as the lack of administrative efficiency, the inability to reuse these data and the additional unnecessary costs.
The primary goal of this work was to resolve as many of these matters and as these governed the Ministry of citizen protection. In particular to make use of the currently available methods and technologies of the Semantic Web and to develop a proposition that follows the principles of linked data. To render this feasible, a number of demo applications were developed based on data originating from the Hellenic Police and the Fire Brigade departments. Data were processed to form two datasets that were later exposed and interlinked on the global LOD cloud. These datasets that mainly involved crime and fire incident records, were exploited in the best possible manner to form meaningful scenarios. The resulting informational value was presented with the aid of rich data visualizations and the demos themselves offered a glimpse of the first Greek Semantic Web services to expect. As far as the findings are concerned, these verified that it is possible to overcome some of the known issues and to mine valuable information. Additionally, they revealed potential for both departments to improve upon their management procedures, and to reduce their operating costs.
|2||What is the problem/need/knowledge gap that the research result is responding to? How was it addressed before?|
|The experience obtained with this work in both cases of the Hellenic Police and Fire Brigade departments clearly revealed issues with the provision of open public data. In more detail, Greek public data were offered as raw datasets, often in various formats, (text, pdf, csv, xls, xml, ods) and in various states, (structured, non-structured). Although in the right direction, such an improvement was only a part of the solution because while it increased the quantity, it did not cater for the quality of the available information and the issue of data heterogeneity. Each public administration body contributed on its own mind, often providing unreliable data, difficult to process formats and many times excluding essential parts of the information. This was unfortunate, because Linked Data and their benefits are clearly as good as their original input raw data are. In the end, that also showed that their significance was not yet well understood and revealed a gap in the public sector’s knowledge and expertise to invest in this area. Another problem identified by this work had to do with the fact that these public informational sources belong in their majority into different hierarchy levels, which are also not linked, and thus out of synch. As a result they often contradict one another during informational updates and their published data are usually overlapping.
These currently unresolved issues, prohibit any reuse of these data from all public and/or other organizations and are mainly responsible for a lack of administrative efficiency, unnecessary costs and undoubtedly frustration for the public.
The research findings, proved that it is possible to overcome most of these matters and to mine valuable information from Greek open data, assuming these are first published and shared as Linked Data. In particular this work made a proposition based on the currently available methods and technologies of the Semantic Web, and followed the principles of linked data, to process, publish and exploit data originating from the of Hellenic Police and Fire Brigade departments. In effect it managed to extract value out of them and exploited the resulting linked data via the first Greek demo applications. These demos, presented the results as rich data visualizations, firstly to reveal any potential for both departments to improve upon their management procedures, and secondly to encourage additional contributions of Greek open data and of innovative applications and services.
The previously mentioned issues, concerning the public sector departments, were until now not addressed and the only way to compensate was by putting more effort, increasing the required manhours, the associated costs and in the end the public frustration.
|3||What is the potential for further research?|
|There is high potential for further research in the informational value enrichment of the already formed datasets of the Hellenic Police & the Fire Brigade. Both could be further enriched in the following ways:
Additional research potential clearly lies with the remaining departments of the Ministry, such as the National Intelligence Service, the Hellenic Coast Guard, the General Secretariat for Civil Protection and the Hellenic Agrarian Police. There is great need to expand the same benefits accross all departments currently under the Ministry of Citizen Protection supervision but also to other Goverment entities.
|4||What is the proposed method of IPR-protection? (Patent, license, trademark etc.)|
|Given that the data used here are open to public, the resulting database cannot be protected by IP laws. Besides, in most regimes, copyright does not apply to datasets.
However, the code that has been created in order to link these two databases to other public databases and to the web (code that is compatible with the data format and interlinks it) can be only protected by secrecy within the developer’s unit.
|5||What are the steps that need to be taken in order to secure the IPR-protection? What is the cost of IPR-protection?|
|No steps need to be taken for IPR protection.|
|6||What is your overall assessment of the scientific maturity of the research result?|
|As far as the scientific maturity of the research result is concerned, the findings verify that revolutionary technologies of the Semantic Web such as Linked data exhibit true potential in supporting the issues concerning information. In fact this work demonstrated that it is possible to exchange information at an interoperable and reusable fashion, and thus to provide elegant solutions that resolve the user’s informational and service needs. The first attempt to deliver within the Ministry of Citizen Protection boundaries and more specifically with the departments of the Hellenic Police and Fire Brigade, revealed significant management, functional and cost benefits. Assuming the utilization of open data originating from other public administration bodies, such benefits would easily expand into other areas via limitless applications and services. This further translates into social benefits, sustainable economic development, improved quality of life and undoubtedly competitive advantages for the ones that follow this direction.|
KEYWORDS QUANTITATIVE ASSESSMENT (0-5).
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