UK Data Developers Google Group summary November '10 - January '11

In this blog post we will be taking a look at what went on in the UK Government Data Developers Google Group between November 2010 and January 2011.  The group was set up in September 2009 as part of the invitation beta of (prior to the public beta you are looking at right now).  The group was set up to allow developers working with UK Government data to share ideas, pose questions and engage in lively debate.  So, what were the most popular threads of conversation in the past three months?

Please note that you will need to join the Google Group to post to the group, but users can freely join.  Please bear in mind that it is development community and so discussions are of a technical nature!

A question around the use of SPARQL in relation to UK public sector finance data has been the busiest thread in recent months, with group members providing numerous examples of data being used in this way.

Also related to expenditure date was the news of the Treasury COINS data set been made available as RDF by an organisation participating in the UK Government Data Developer community.  The beta release was shared with the Google Group who responded with constructive feedback and comments

Sticking with the theme of expenditure related data, an ontology to describe data related to payments was submitted to the group for review and feedback, prompting a number of suggestions and examples in response. 

A discussion about the use of transport data made available via also proved to be a hot topic, with debate covering the persistence of unique identifiers through to how best to use all of the data resources available.

Finally, a challenge was laid down to the group to produce a documentation set describing RDF/Linked data and the SPARQL query language, which prompted enthusiastic support and a number of suggestions for how to realise this goal from within the group. 

We will look to provide periodical updates on what is being discussed in the UK Government Data Developers Group in future blog posts on, if you have any comments or questions about this blog post please do post them below.

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