Category Archives: Linked Science

Still open: Fully funded PhD Student Position in Linked Data for eScience Services (LIFE) Project

Linked Data for eScience Services (LIFE) is a two-year project funded by the German Research Foundation, jointly carried out by the Semantic Interoperability Lab (MUSIL) at Institute for Geoinformatics ( and the University Library ( at University of Münster.

The overall goal of LIFE is to facilitate sharing of research data and thus improve interdisciplinary collaboration in science and education. The approach addresses all kinds of resources, ranging from articles and books through maps to raw data. The Linked Data approach will be used as a basis for the university library’s eScience services to seamlessly integrate their offerings into both the scientific and the global information infrastructure. These eScience services will enable researchers and students to systematically navigate the dynamic and heterogeneous global network of research data, exploiting spatio-temporal information for discovery and creating views meeting their information needs. LIFE is a research activity in the Linked Open Data University of Münster (LODUM, initiative that fosters exchanging scientific and educational data as Linked Data.

The Institute for Geoinformatics is looking for highly motivated candidates to fill a PhD student position in the project. The position is fully funded for two years at the TVL salary scale (TVL-E 13, ~40k € p.a. gross). The candidate is expected to join the graduate school for geoinformatics.

Application profile:

  • strong background in at least one of the following areas:
    • semantic web technologies / linked data
    • science 2.0 / open science
    • geographic information science (geoinformatics)
  • programming experience, especially in web development on an open source stack
  • interest in research challenges in the area of semantic interoperability and data integration
  • Master or Diploma in computer science, information science, geoinformatics, or a related field
  • German language skills are an asset, but not required initially.

The Institute for Geoinformatics offers an attractive, international and English-speaking work environment. Applications should be sent to Prof. Dr. Werner Kuhn ( in a single PDF file. Applications from women are encouraged and will be favored in case of equal qualification, competence and specific achievements. Preference will be given to disabled applicants in case of equivalent qualification.

The application process remains open until December 15, 2012 or until the position is filled.

2nd International Workshop on Linked Science 2012—Tackling Big Data will be arranged in Boston, USA

The 2nd International Workshop on Linked Science 2012—Tackling Big Data (LISC2012) will be organized in November, 2012 in Boston, USA.

LISC2012 will be collocated with the 11th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC2012). The submission deadline for the papers is July 31th, 2012.

Organizers of LISC2012 are

  • Tomi Kauppinen, Institute for Geoinformatics, University of Muenster, Germany. (co-chair)
  • Line C. Pouchard, Scientific Data Group, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, US Department of Energy, USA. (co-chair)
  • Carsten Keßler, Institute for Geoinformatics (ifgi), University of Muenster, Germany. (co-chair)
  • Paul Groth, VU University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
  • Natasha Noy, Stanford Medical Informatics, USA
  • Eric G. Stephan, U.S. Department of Energy, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington, USA
  • Jun Zhao, Life Science Interface, University of Oxford

More information is now available at the web page of the LISC2012 at

You may also follow the twitter feed @LinkedScience and hashtag #LISC2012 for announcements and discussions.


The Triangle of Sustainability Awarded

Triangle of Sustainability show is a way to interact with large amounts of Linked Spatiotemporal Data to support understanding of the ecological, social and economical dimensions of sustainable development.

The Triangle of Sustainability (in German “Dreieck der Nachhaltigkeit”) by  Thomas Bartoscheck and Tomi Kauppinen from the Institute for Geoinformatics at the University of Münster was  awarded with a Finalist Position and is competing for the first prize  in Wissenschaft interaktiv 2012, June 2–6, 2012, Lübeck, Germany.

The Triangle of Sustainability is an interactive show to explore observations about deforestation of rainforests and related phenomena such as road networks, political situation, and market prices of agricultural products on maps and timelines.  The Triangle thus connects three important aspects–ecological, economical and social–of sustainability. By doing this the Triangle serves as a show of what is achievable by  interconnecting different scientific assets via the Linked Science approach. The goal is to raise the awareness, and understanding of different factors of sustainability. The Triangle thus serves as an example of how the research field of Geoinformatics, and more generally Geographic Information Science can serve the society in these tasks.

The resulting information can be explored on three screens (see the figure above). The interaction is made extremely simple yet powerful, no additional tools are required for the participants. All the spatial and temporal information can be zoomed and panned simply by making gestures using hands.

The technological basis is built on the power of Linked Data techniques for interconnecting these very heterogenous data about different environmental and social phenomena. The data used by the show is the Linked Brazilian Amazon Rainforest published at

Workshop on GIScience in the Big Data Age 2012

Workshop on GIScience in the Big Data Age 2012 (GIBDA2012) will be organized in conjunction with the seventh International Conference on Geographic Information Science 2012 (GIScience 2012) in Columbus, Ohio, USA on September 18th, 2012.

Workshop Description and Scope

The rapidly increasing information universe with new data created at a speed surpassing our capacities to store it, calls for improved methods to retrieve, filter, integrate, and share data. The vision of a data-intensive science hopes that the open availability of data with a higher spatial, temporal, and thematic resolution will enable us to better address complex scientific and social questions. However, on the downside, understanding, sharing, and reusing these data becomes more challenging. Big Data is not only big because it involves a huge amount of data, but also because of the high-dimensionality and inter-linkage of these data sets. The on-the-fly integration of heterogeneous data from various sources has been named one of the frontiers of Digital Earth research, Bioinformatics, the Digital Humanities, and other emerging research visions.

From a more technical perspective, a knowledge infrastructure is required to handle Big Data. Currently, the most promising approach is the Linked Data cloud. While the Web has changed with the advent of the Social Web from mostly authoritative towards increasing amounts of user-generated content, it is essentially still about linked documents. These documents provide structure and context for the described data and easy their interpretation. In contrast, the upcoming Data Web is about linking data, not documents. Such data sets are not bound to a specific document but can be easily combined and used outside of the original context. With a growth rate of millions of new facts encoded as RDF-triples per month, the Linked Data cloud allows users to answer complex queries spanning multiple sources. Due to the uncoupling of data from its original creation context, semantic interoperability, identity resolution, and ontologies are central methodologies to ensure consistency and meaningful results.

Space and time are fundamental ordering relations to structure such data and provide an implicit context for their interpretation. Prominent geo-related Linked Data hubs include as well as the Linked Geo Data project, which provides a RDF serialization of Open Street Map. Furthermore, many other Linked Data sources contain location references, e.g., observation data provided by sensors.

This full day workshop is a follow-up event of the successful first workshop on Linked Spatiotemporal Data at GIScience 2010. While this first workshop was centered around Linked Data and geo-ontologies, the GiBDA 2012 workshop takes a broader perspective by highlighting data-intensive science as the research vision and Linked Data as a promising knowledge infrastructure. We hope that the workshop will help better define the data, knowledge representations, infrastructure, reasoning methodologies, and tools needed to link and query massive data based on their spatial and temporal characteristics.

List of Relevant Topics

Topics of interest for the Linked Spatiotemporal Data workshop include (but are not limited to):

  • Mining Big Data

    • Learning geo-ontologies out of massive data
    • Abduction-based frameworks and systems
    • Mining Location-based Social Networks
    • Studying the geo-indicativeness of massive, semi-structured data
    • Analogy-based search in Big Data
    • Semantic heterogeneity and ontology alignment
    • Semantics-enabled geo-statistics
  • Retrieving and browsing of Linked Spatiotemporal Data

    • Learning Linked Spatiotemporal Data from existing sources
    • Spatiotemporal indexing of Linked Data
    • Harvesting Linked Data from heterogeneous sources
    • Spatial extensions to query languages (e.g., GeoSPARQL)
    • Visualizing and browsing through Linked Spatiotemporal Data
  • Big Data and Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI)

    • Spatiotemporal aspects of data quality, trust, and provenance
    • Tag and vocabulary recommendations for annotating VGI
    • Maintenance of outgoing links
  • Application of Linked Spatiotemporal Data

    • Linked Data and Sensor Web Enablement (SWE)
    • Linked Data and mobile applications
    • Linked Data gazetteers and Points Of Interest
    • Linked Data in the domain of cultural heritage research
  • Integration and Interoperation of Linked Spatiotemporal Data

    • Ontologies and vocabularies to support interoperability
    • Geo-Ontology Design Patterns
    • Identity assumptions and resolution for data fusion and integration
    • The role of space and time to structure Linked Data
    • Versioning of spatiotemporal data.
    • Semantic annotation and Microformats
    • Adding contextual information to Linked Data

Workshop Format and Structure

The full day workshop will focus on intensive discussions setting a roadmap towards publishing, structuring, retrieving, and consuming Linked Spatiotemporal Data and understanding how GIScience can contribute to the vision of a data-intensive science. The workshop will accept three kinds of contributions, full research papers presenting new work in the indicated areas, statements of interest, and data challenge papers. While the research papers will be selected based on the review results adhering to classical scientific quality criteria, the statements of interest should raise questions, present visions, and point to the open gaps. However, statements of interest will also be reviewed to ensure quality and clarity of the presented ideas.

We also welcome demonstrations of existing tools, applications, and geo-ontologies. Details for the data challenge are given below. The presentation time per speaker will be restricted to 5 minutes for statements of interest and 10 minutes for full papers. Based on the presented work, all workshop participants will decide on 2–3 research topics to be discussed in breakout groups. In a final session, the breakout groups will present their findings on research topics and challenges and try to integrate them across the discussed topics.

Submissions and Proceedings

All presented papers will be made available through the workshop Web-page, the electronic conference proceedings of GIScience 2012, as well as via CEUR-WS. Full research papers should be approximately 7-10 pages, while statements of interest and data challenge papers should be between 5-6 pages. Selected papers may be considered for a fast-track submission to the Semantic Web journal by IOS Press.

Please upload your submission using the workshop’s EasyChair web-page.

Data Challenge

The website contains a growing collection of metadata for proceedings of conferences on topics related to geographic information science. So far, it contains most of the metadata for the GIScience, COSIT, ACM GIS, and AGILE conference series. Within the GIBDA Data Challenge, we are looking for

  • innovative analyses of the data
  • interactive visualizations
  • approaches for cleaning the data up
  • pattern and topic mining
  • enrichment and interlinking with other datasets (e.g., from the Linked Data cloud)
  • insights into GIScience as research field
  • adding social roles and aspects

The raw data can be queried via SPARQL using the SPARQL endpoint Submissions to the data challenge are to be submitted through EasyChair as a brief description of the entry, along with a link to the demo/analysis/dataset. Entries to the challenge will be evaluated by the program committee based on innovativeness and potential impact. The winner will be awarded a $250 price and will present at the workshop.

Important Dates

  • Submission due: 18. June 2012
  • Acceptance Notification: 6. July 2012
  • Camera-ready Copies: 16. July 2012


Programme Committee

  • TBA

Related Activities

Please feel free to contact the organizers for further questions at jano @ geog . ucsb. edu.


Tutorial on SPARQL Package for R

Tools are major enablers of Linked Science. One crucial aspect is how to access and analyze data, and especially how to get only that part of data which is of interest for a given research question.  Linked Data solves the access part, and SPARQL allows to query only a subset of the data. For statistical computing there are tools like R. As a solution to bridge the two communities, those of statistical computing and  semantic web, there is now a SPARQL Package for R, which enables to get data from Linked Data services to R for analysis. At you may now find a tutorial on SPARQL Package for R. By following it you can learn:

  1. how to access and query Linked Spatiotemporal Data of the  deforestation statistics related to the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest, and
  2. how to analyze it within R (which is a free software environment for statistical computing).

First course worldwide on Linked Science at the University of Muenster, Germany

First course worldwide on Linked Science will be held at the Institute for Geoinformatics at the University of Muenster, Germany during the winter semester 2011/2012. This Linked Science course is arranged as a seminar, and the title is “Spatiotemporal and Semantic Modeling for Linked Science” and it is lectured by Dr. Tomi Kauppinen.

The seminar teaches both basics and shows recent advancements of Linked Spatiotemporal Data and Linked Science. The seminar is combined of lectures and demo-sessions showing through examples how spatiotemporal information can be modeled, semantically described and published as Linked Data. The major emphasis is on scientific datasets.

In the course we will also discuss spatiotemporal and semantic reasoning techniques to enrich the data. Students will also  learn how the data can be connected with the help of the SPARQL package for R for statistical analysis, and how and which visualization techniques and tools are available for interacting with the data. Each student will choose a topic for the seminar to create and use Linked Scientific Data of some discipline (e.g.  life sciences, natural and living environment studies, chemistry, biology, crisis management, history and cultural heritage) within the University of Muenster.

The major emphasis is in disciplines where there are interesting spatiotemporal aspects. The results of these student works will be shown and discussed in the demo sessions. The course serves both newcomers in Linked Data techniques and advanced students already knowing the basics and wanting to learn the Linked Science approach. Students will learn theory, techniques, presentation and organizational skills in the seminar.

Linked Science 2011 program announced

The program of the First International Workshop on Linked Science (LISC2011) collocated with ISWC 2011 (to be held on October 24th in Bonn, Germany) is now announced:

9AM – 9:45 AM Session 1: Opening

  • Opening Remarks. 15’
  • Invited Talk: Damian Gessler  30’ “Semantic Web for Science: Lessons of the iPlant Collaborative and SSWAP”

9:45 – 10:30 AM Session 2: Applications—-Successes and Challenges

  • Linked Data for Network Science. Paul Groth and Yolanda Gil.  (30’ – 12 pages)
  • Linking the Outcomes of Scientific Research: Requirements from the Perspective of Geosciences . Stephan Mäs, Matthias Müller, Christin Henzen and Lars Bernard. (15’ – 6 pages) 

10:30 AM Coffee break

11 AM – 11:45 AM Session 3: Semantic Integration

  • Interactively Mapping Data Sources into the Semantic Web. Craig A. Knoblock, Pedro Szekely, Jose Luis Ambite, Shubham Gupta, Aman Goel, Maria Muslea, Kristina Lerman and Parag Mallick. (30’ – 12 pages)
  • Similarity between semantic description sets: addressing needs beyond data integration. Todd Vision, Hilmar Lapp, Paula Mabee, Monte Westerfield and Judith Blake. (15’ – 4 pages)

11:45 – 12:30 PM Session 4: Collaborations and languages

  • Supporting Scientific Collaboration Through Class-Based Object Versioning.  Johnson Mwebaze. (30’ – 12 pages)
  • Glottolog/Langdoc: Defining dialects, languages, and language families as collections of resources. Sebastian Nordhoff and Harald Hammarström. (15’ – 6 pages)

12:30 -2 PM Lunch

2 PM – 2:30 PM Session 5: Sources

  • The knowledge-driven exploration of integrated biomedical knowledge sources facilitates the generation of new hypotheses.  Vinh Nguyen, Olivier Bodenreider, Todd Mining and Amit Sheth. (15’ – 5 pages)
  • Where did you hear that? Information and the Sources They Come From?   Jim Mccusker, Timothy Lebo, Li Ding, Cynthia Chang, Paulo Pinheiro Da Silva and Deborah L. Mcguinness. (15’ – 5 pages)

2:30 – 3 PM  Discussion about topics for break-out groups; group organization

3 – 4 PM Break-out sessions

4 PM Coffee break 

4:30 PM  Results of the break-out sessions

The program is also available at the LISC 2011 event pages. opened!

During the last few days and weeks we (Krzysztof Janowicz, Carsten Keßler, Alexander Savelyev and Tomi Kauppinen) created a Linked Data set about the people, papers and proceedings  of the COSIT (Conference on Spatial Information Theory) series.

The result is now opened and can be interacted with at! We look forward to maintain the portal as a community effort in order to serve back the community, i.e. the researchers of the Spatial Information and Geographic Information Science. 

Would other communities be interested in joining Just contact us, and let us plan it.

List of accepted papers to LISC2011 announced

The following eight papers have been accepted to be presented at the 1st International Workshop on Linked Science (LISC2011), Oct 24th, 2011 in Bonn, Germany. We received 16 submissions by the deadline—thus  the acceptance rate was 50%. 

  • Linked Data for Network Science
    Paul Groth and Yolanda Gil. 
  • The knowledge-driven exploration of integrated biomedical knowledge sources facilitates the generation of new hypotheses
    Vinh Nguyen, Olivier Bodenreider, Todd Mining and Amit Sheth. 
  • Glottolog/Langdoc: Defining dialects, languages, and language families as collections of resources
    Sebastian Nordhoff and Harald Hammarström. 
  • Linking the Outcomes of Scientific Research: Requirements from the Perspective of Geosciences
    Stephan Mäs, Matthias Müller, Christin Henzen and Lars Bernard. 
  • Supporting Scientific Collaboration Through Class-Based Object Versioning
    Johnson Mwebaze, Danny Boxhoorn and Edwin Valentijn. 
  • Similarity between semantic description sets: addressing needs beyond data integration
    Todd Vision, Hilmar Lapp, Paula Mabee, Monte Westerfield and Judith Blake.
  • Interactively Mapping Data Sources into the Semantic Web
    Craig A. Knoblock, Pedro Szekely, Jose Luis Ambite, Shubham Gupta, Aman Goel, Maria Muslea, Kristina Lerman and Parag Mallick. 
  • Where did you hear that? Information and the Sources They Come From
    Jim Mccusker, Timothy Lebo, Li Ding, Cynthia Chang, Paulo Pinheiro Da Silva and Deborah L. Mcguinness. 

The detailed program will be announced soon at