Linked Open Data lifts off in Washington

13-11-2012, Washington DC, United States

On November 12th, NREL and REEEP teamed up to give a dedicated Linked Open Data workshop in Washington DC.  The 26 attendees at Linked Open Data for Clean Energy included the Climate Institute, the Inter-American Development Bank, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Global Green Growth Institute and several departments from the World Bank.

LOD Workshop Washington DC

Building on REEEP's long experience in operating the reegle.info website, this workshop helped to illustrate exactly what benefits Linked Open Data (LOD) can bring - both to users and to organisations. "This is really one of our areas of core expertise," notes Florian Bauer, REEEP's Operations and IT Director, "and it is gratifying to be able to help so many other major organisations in the clean energy space come to grips with how to open up their data."

Jon Weers of NREL, openei.org  and Bauer kicked off the event with an introductory presentation on LOD, outlining the concept and why it is relevant for organisations to start consuming and publishing data in LOD formats.  The integration of www.reegle.info and www.openei.org was used as a best practice example.

An interactive session helped participants identify a major need for capacity-building inside organisations on:

  • How to overcome technical barriers (how to implement LOD)
  • How to convince decision makers that opening data is beneficial to both users and to the organization
  • How existing business models based on selling data can be replaced by future business models based on selling added value services rather than the raw data itself

Elena Alschuler from the U.S. Department of Energy presented the Building Technologies Program (BTP) Buildings Performance Database, a decision-support platform that enables engineering and financial practitioners to evaluate energy efficiency products and services in commercial and residential buildings.

Another interactive session identified the most urgent the technical, organisational and financial challenges to implementing  LOD, which was followed by an experts panel answering the most pressing questions.

Austin Brown from NREL presented The Transparent Costs Database, which  collects program cost and performance estimates for energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies in a public forum where they can be viewed and compared to other published estimates.  The database includes literature on technology cost and performance estimates - both current and future projections -for vehicles, biofuels, and electricity generation.  

The workshop closed with a Networking reception, where participants had the chance to get in touch with other  data providers and discuss possible data-sharing.  All participants took home a copy of Linked Open Data: The Essentials, a quick-start guide to LOD co-authored by Florian Bauer, and which can be downloaded below.

Bernadette Hyland, CEO of 3 Round Stones and a pioneer in semantic web technologies concluded after the workshop: "It was really exciting to see the first workshop dubbed as a 'Linked Open Data' only workshop in DC (and I follow these things!).  I commend you for organizing such a useful program, format, venue and the nice 'take aways' for the workshop. Thank you."

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Florian Bauer

Operations and IT Director

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Information Gateway reegle