NYC Data Web

WINNER: Large Organization Recognition Award

Data, data, everywhere. Over 350 data sets (hot dog stands to campaign contributions) in over 350 different formats. The NYC Data Web, jointly developed by  Revelytix Inc, TCG Inc and Spry Inc, shows a simple method using semantic technologies to integrate all of these different data sets into a single web of data that can all be queried using SPARQL. It also shows how to use open source dashboards to produce comprehensive analytics of the NYC Data Web. The task of analyzing all of this data just changed from nearly impossible to simple.

The core of the solution is a "domain ontology" representing all of the concepts in the thirteen  New York City data sets we chose for this application. This ontology is developed using the W3C Ontology Web Language (OWL) standard with the assistance of subject-matter experts using Knoodl, a free web-based tool for collaborative ontology development. In addition to the domain ontology, a mapping ontology is created for each of the public data sets. The mapping ontology relates concepts in the domain ontology to concepts in the data sources, so that SPARQL queries addressed to the domain ontology can process results for all of the data sets. Because the domain ontology is OWL-based, it is both flexible and extensible, communities can continuously add concepts to the domain ontology and new data using the mapping ontologies. Over time it is feasible that all NYC data can be made visible and usable with this method.

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