Simple Dataset Syndication (SDS)
We’re giving it a shot. Feedback and comments are welcome and appreciated!
We just submitted our proposal for the Knight News Challenge. What do you think?
1. What do you propose to do? [20 words]
Create a simple distribution protocol for linked datasets, based on community-driven semantic standards, to promote transparency and journalistic attribution for data.
2. Is anyone doing something like this now and how is your project different? [30 words]
Data Protocols and this NASA Initiative are similar, but we’ll focus specifically on creating a semantic standard for datasets used by the journalism community and on building effective distribution tools.
3. Describe the network with which you intend to build or work. [50 words]
Our network is the Internet. The dataset standard will be similar to RDF or RSS, both widely distributed web standards. We’ll build a straightforward web-based tool that allows people to upload datasets and create descriptive metadata in this format.
We’ll mobilize a community network to define standards, a la W3C.
4. Why will it work? [100 words]
As the journalism community rallies around open data, it’s more important than ever for there to be a semantic standard. Data needs metadata.
As these standards develop, our open source tool will allow people to apply and distribute them easily. By creating tools to facilitate the use of the standard, integrating with existing platforms and data repositories, as well as piloting the standard with local organizations, we can ensure the success of the project and ongoing use of the SDS format. Additionally, our work will conform to the existing Open Annotation standard that is being used.
5. Who is working on it? [100 words]
MinnPost’s interactive team:
• Director of news technology Kaeti Hinck, who managed MinnPost’s redesign and move to an open source CMS
• Open-source programmer Alan Palazzolo, former Code for America fellow
• Programmer Kevin Schaul, computer science and journalism student
We hope to partner with IRE/NICAR and other organizations to gather a network of contributors. Locally, we will work with a governmental office like the Minnesota Department of GIS to develop a test case for applying the standards to significant datasets.
We’d also hire a full-time project coordinator and community manager, who will be well versed in the semantic web.
6. What part of the project have you already built? [100 words]
We have begun reaching out to partners and building a dialogue around the standard. We have also initiated planning for a web-based tool to help implement the standard for any given dataset. See our preliminary wiki at https://github.com/MinnPost/sds
We are also identifying existing data repositories like PANDA or GeoServer that could integrate the standard with large benefit in the future.
7. How would you sustain the project after the funding expires? [50 words]
Initial funding will allow us to build open source tools to implement and distribute community standards. Over time, organizations can incorporate these tools into existing workflows. Revenue could be generated by training governmental organizations in using data standards, hosting conferences or summits, or creating a membership model similar to W3C.
Requested amount from Knight News Challenge: $250,000
Expected amount of time required to complete project: 2 years
Total Project Cost: $300,000