Linked Data, What the Heck???

Linked Data, What the Heck???

If you’ve never heard about linked data, you’re not alone. I didn’t know about it either before the start of open Summer of code. Reading the Wikipedia page about it could help you but you won’t get that far either. We at SmartFlanders were charged with using and implementing linked data for cities. We have to give them a proof of concept, something to give them inspiration. With our example they should be able to see what the power of linked data actually is. It’s even more powerful than Superman, but what is it?


Linked data is a way of presenting data so that all data can be linked together. In our example we could link parking data with data from public transport. This could be useful to measure the amount of people that leave their car in a parking to take a certain public transport later on. To know more about linked data I can only point you in the direction of a Youtube video (Linked Data)

Now that you know what we are doing it could be useful to know how we are doing it. Well, now cities publish their data in various ways. They publish CSV data, dump XML files, stream live data, …. In order to create a useful example we have to go through that data. We check on it every couple of seconds and then parse it. Once parsed we save it in files together with a timestamp. A typical file contains about 5 minutes of data. When a user requests data about a certain time our server will look up the correct file and will return the data in the linked data format. At the same time we are creating a front-end that will make it easy to look up data!


We’re excited but there is still a lot of work so I’ll get back on it! Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post and have a great day!

Skip to toolbar