What is the Open Data Directory?

The Open Data Directory contains a listing of organizations creating and/or publishing data on the Web. The Directory is open and does not require W3C affiliation. It has recently been restructured to be more "Web-like.” Rather than the directory containing the canonical version of all the directory entries, the entries will live wherever the contributor deems appropriate and the Directory web application only serves as an aggregator of the Linked Data.

Why the new structure?

The new “Web-like” structure of the Directory affords users more control over their data by doing away with the idea of a “walled garden” application. Previously the Directory  required users to create an account, login, and manage their information in another system. 

The new Directory does not require user accounts of any kind. All users need to do is fill out a Web form (which generates their entry), host the resulting data somewhere on the Web, and submit the URL to the directory. This means the user stays the owner of the canonical data. This also allows for easier editing of the entry. Instead of having to login to make changes, a user can edit their local copy and the next time the directory is updated the Linked Data aggregator will pick up those changes and pass them through to the Directory.

How do I add my organization?

The process for listing your organization in the directory is as follows:    

  1. Create an entry which generates RDF for your organization.
  2. Download the file and publish it on the Web.  
  3. Submit the URL of the file containing your organization's listing.  
  4. The directory retrieves and publishes your organization's entry.

How do I remove my organization?

The fastest way to have your organization removed from the directory is to contact support@3roundstones.com and request that your entry be removed. 

However,  because you control the data, if you want your organization to be removed from the directory just remove the file from wherever it is hosted. The next time the Directory goes to collect the data from that URL, it will return an HTTP status code indicating that the data was not found. If this occurs repeatedly over sequential requests you will be notified and asked if this is intentional or not. If it is intentional we will remove your entry.

What is the history of the Directory?  How did it get started & who is maintaining it?

The W3C Government Linked Data Working Group through its charter created the initial Community Directory in early 2012.  Feedback encouraged the developers to make it more “Web-like”.  In April 2013, the working group launched the revamped Directory that integrates a fully Linked Data approach.  Upon completion of the working group’s charter, the Web site will transition to ongoing support and maintenance by the W3C Community Directory Interest Group in June 2013. The group has been renamed as the Open Data Directory Working Group.

How is the entry data modeled?

If you wish to create your own Linked Data about your organization, rather than use the Web-based form, you must use the model below as your guideline. The objective here was to utilized commonly used vocabularies such as RDF, RDFS, SKOS, VCard, GR, Org, and FOAF.

This structure is used for rendering the organization for viewing and for compiling statistics for the directory as a whole. For that reason, data that strays from this model may be displayed incorrectly or not at all. 

Relative # (hash) URI’s were used here so the data can be kept with the user and made valid with the addition of a Base URI. When a user submits this file to the directory for consideration, it’s location is used as the Base URI. 

The modeling diagram and list of the namespaces used are at the bottom of this page.

Who do I contact with questions or concerns?

If you have any questions, concerns, or comments about your entry or the directory in general, please contact support@3roundstones.com.

Modeling Diagram

Namespaces Used

skos: <http://www.w3.org/2004/02/skos/core#> . 
foaf: <http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/> . 
vcard: <http://www.w3.org/2006/vcard/ns#> . 
rdfs: <http://www.w3.org/2000/01/rdf-schema#> . 
rdf: <http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#> . 
gr: <http://purl.org/goodrelations/v1#> . 
org: <http://www.w3.org/ns/org#> . 
*dir: <http://dir.w3.org/directory/schema#> . 
*directory: <http://dir.w3.org/directory/orgtypes/> .

*Dir and Directory were created to augment more commonly used vocabularies and aid with internal visualizations. They are present in conjunction with, not in place of, the more popular vocabularies.

The "directory" namespace points to some local resources used to define types of organizations. At the moment these are locally defined but hopefully in the future they can be adapted to a more widely-used vocabulary. Here are the organization types that are defined:

Type Raw Data
Commercial RDF
Federal/Central Government RDF
Local Government RDF
Non-Government Organization RDF
Non-Profit Organization RDF
Research Academic RDF
State Government RDF

The dir schema can be found at http://dir.w3.org/directory/schema and is as follows:

# Vocabulary for W3C Directory
# Created by Luke Ruth (luke @ http://3roundstones.com)
# 20 March 2013

@prefix xsd: <http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema#> .
@prefix rdf: <http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#> .
@prefix rdfs: <http://www.w3.org/2000/01/rdf-schema#> .
@prefix owl: <http://www.w3.org/2002/07/owl#> .
@prefix dir: <http://dir.w3.org/directory/Schema#> .

# Ontology
  a owl:Ontology; 
  rdfs:comment "Vocabulary for W3C's Community Directory." .

# Classes
dir:Organization a owl:Class ;
  rdfs:isDefinedBy <http://dir.w3.org/directory/Schema#> ;
  rdfs:label "Organization" ;
  rdfs:comment "A structured group of people working within the Linked Data field." .

dir:ProductOrService a owl:Class ;
  rdfs:isDefinedBy <http://dir.w3.org/directory/Schema#> ;
  rdfs:label "Product or Service" ;
  rdfs:comment "A parent class encompassing products, services, and projets." .
dir:OpenSource a owl:Class ;
  rdfs:isDefinedBy <http://dir.w3.org/directory/Schema#> ;
  rdfs:subClassOf dir:ProductOrService ;
  rdfs:label "Open Source" ;
  rdfs:comment "An Open Source offering with a non proprietary license." .
dir:Product a owl:Class ;
  rdfs:isDefinedBy <http://dir.w3.org/directory/Schema#> ;
  rdfs:subClassOf dir:ProductOrService ;
  rdfs:label "Product" ;
  rdfs:comment "A tool for dealing with Linked Data (Open source or commercial)." .

dir:Service a owl:Class ;
  rdfs:isDefinedBy <http://dir.w3.org/directory/Schema#> ;
  rdfs:subClassOf dir:ProductOrService ;
  rdfs:label "Service" ;
  rdfs:comment "An online public facing service serving Linked Data." .

dir:Project a owl:Class ;
  rdfs:isDefinedBy <http://dir.w3.org/directory/Schema#> ;
  rdfs:subClassOf dir:ProductOrService ;
  rdfs:label "Project" ;
  rdfs:comment "A project using Linked Data (academic, enterprise, or otherwise)." .

dir:Person a owl:Class ;
  rdfs:isDefinedBy <http://dir.w3.org/directory/Schema#> ;
  rdfs:label "Person" ;
  rdfs:comment "A contact or person associated with a given organization." .

# Properties
  rdf:type rdf:Property ;
  rdfs:isDefinedBy <http://dir.w3.org/directory/Schema#> ;
  rdfs:label "is organization type" ;
  rdfs:comment "Indicates the type of a given organization." .

  rdf:type rdf:Property ;
  rdfs:isDefinedBy <http://dir.w3.org/directory/Schema#> ;
  rdfs:label "has license of" ;
  rdfs:comment "Indicates the licsense of a given product, service, or project." .