Previous year's Nominees
The work of lawyers and civil servants largely relies on reliable sources for legislation, case law and parliamentary documents. Although the government is the producer of this information, the delivery to the workplace largely depended on third parties. For governmental organizations this introduces problems regarding cost efficiency, scattered information sources and restricted access to initially open data.
In 2012 the Publication Office of the Netherlands (KOOP) initiated a programme called "Linked Governmental Data (LGD)" aiming to make governmental information easily accessible to the government itself and thus reducing time lost on searching and money spent on buying already open information from commercial parties.
The LGD programme offers a solution based on Linked Data technology to help government organizations to make better use of already available open government information. The central idea is that all formal government information is directly or indirectly related to legislation. Using an accepted national standard for linking to legislation called Juriconnect, linked data is created from various collections of governmental data like case law, policies and gazettes. A service based architecture supports the end users directly. There are services 1) to make links to legislation in documents to create linked data, 2) to use the available linked data in the workplace and to find related information to the current subject and 3) to signal users when legislation has changed that the user is linking to.
To make the amount of available linked data larger and to cope with legacy documents without URI’s, a highly innovative “link extractor” has been developed based on previous PhD research. See: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2626521
The “Linked Legislation” is since 2014 used in user applications like the “Linked Law app” (in Dutch: “wettenpocket”, http://wettenpocket.overheid.nl/) which makes legislation available in handy bundles combined with linked data. At the end of 2015 the national legislation portal, http://wetten.overheid.nl, will be launched including linked data for Dutch national laws.
The Linked Legislation collection is available as a public portal on http://linkeddata.overheid.nl. Webservices and end-points are available for professional users. An enterprise version of the Linked Legislation environment is currently being developed together with the Dutch immigration service and the Dutch Tax office to make Linked data available for non-open governmental information and to support collaboration in partner networks.