The World Wide Semantic Web

Welcome !
We are a community of researchers and open data advocates that believe in enabling access to open, linked, and semantically rich data to everyone world wide.


Data sharing usually focuses on centralized and very powerful solutions centred around Web hosted servers and (mobile) clients accessing it. As a direct consequence, the usage of Linked Data technology depends on the availability of a Web infrastructure compassing data-centres, high speed reliable Internet connection and modern client devices. If any of this is missing, our community is not able, yet, to provide any Linked Data enabled data management solution. Still, the digital divide that is currently widely recognized separates the world into those who have access to Web-based platforms and those who don’t.

When designing Linked Data platforms we tend to forget those 4 Billion persons who don’t have access to Internet but would benefit from being able to share structured data. We should keep everyone in mind when we design Linked Data platforms and aim at helping to reduce this digital divide. We believe that achieving this goal implies working on three aspects (Infrastructure, Interfaces and Relevancy) around open data.

None of us can work on all these challenges alone, but we yet need to be all considered together. is a collaborative effort to document steps made into that direction and provide an entry point to different projects. It’s is an open community everyone interested in these line of work is much welcome to join. To learn more about every of these specific topics, know what we are exactly doing and who to get in touch with, please follow these links:


We get LOD-enabled systems to run on common, low-scale, hardware

The majority of data sharing platforms are centred around powerful servers and lightweight clients. Instead of using this large-scale centralised approach to data management we look at breaking data-centric architectures into smaller components. These smaller components would consume less electricity, be cheaper, and more flexible than a “big server” while still mimicking, as a swarm, the features one such big server would provide.

Related projects

The entity registry system (ERS) creates global and shared knowledge spaces through series of statements. For instance, “Amsterdam is in the Netherlands” is a statement made about the entity “Amsterdam” relating it to the entity “the Netherlands”. These statements can be created, shared and browsed from any kind of devices starting from an XO-1. The sharing infrastructure is also usable under any connectivity context

Related pages

We maintain a page about adresse du père noel


We design interfaces to data for those who can not read and write

Currently, interaction with Linked Data is mostly text-based, focusing on form-based inputs and lists of factual information. We look at adding voice, icons, and other alternative channels into the set of tools for interacting with Linked Data.

Related projects

The project Voices produced several systems to use phones as an interface between users and data. For example, Radiomarché enables farmers in Mali to communicate about prices for their products using their mobile phone.


We design reasoning tools that give priority to the most important data
Relevant data is more important than data

The top-down data approach featured by most countries doing open data may not be the best fit for everyone. In particular, individuals may have more immediate data needs that are not covered by a higher scale data policy. It is also likely that different sub-groups of a given target population will have different conceptualisations of the world, and/or use different dialects.

Related projects

PraSem is a project about adjusting the semantics of the Web of Data to fit localized contexts. As an example, the DataHives reasoner moves the reasoning rules to the data hosting nodes thereby taking better account of local meanings.
SampLD is a project aimed at reducing a set of triple to its most useful subset in order to save resources. Here, we use the structure of the graph alone to detect relevant triples, from which we select the sample.


There could not be data sharing without data! We created the Development Linked Data (DLD) group is to discuss the standards and best practices to expose Open Development Data as Linked Data. It is a W3C community group open to everyone, feel free to join and contribute to the discussion: Development Linked Data Community Group

Some specific data sets can be found at the following locations:


A look back at Downscale2016

Posted on September 10, 2016 by biktorrr
On 29 August, the 4th International Workshop on Downscaling the Semantic Web (Downscale2016) was held as a full-day workshop in Amsterdam co-located with the ICT4S conference. The workshop attracted 12 participants and we received 4 invited paper contributions, which were presented…

Impressions from “Making sense of education indicators”

Posted on November 27, 2015 by Christophe Guéret (@cgueret) — 1 Comment
Education is an important aspect of society and assessing the progress made by learners a key element to appreciate, validate and if need be improve the educational system in place. Determining how to best assess learning outcomes continues to be a challenge for teachers and policy makers alike. From collaborative problem solving to using interactive programs, printed books and supplementary materials to independently finding information online, learning can take many forms as can assessment.

2nd VU ICT4D symposium “Data for Development”

Posted on May 22, 2015 by biktorrr
Originally posted on
Today, the second international VU symposium in ICT for Development was held. As last year, the workshop was a great success, with an international host of speakers and a variety of attendees (around 80 people…

Reading list for April 2015

Posted on April 30, 2015 by Christophe Guéret (@cgueret)
This month we have some new gadgets and a collection of writings about Internet connectivity in developing countries.

Structured Data for Humanitarian Technologies

Posted on March 31, 2015 by Christophe Guéret (@cgueret)
The Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) organises every year the Spring Symposium Series (SSS) at Stanford. This is an opportunity to look into new topics for AI through a set of parallel workshops lasting 2 and a…

A Sugar Activity for Subsistence Farmers

Posted on March 6, 2015 by tomjansen25
Subsistence farming or agriculture is a form of farming where farmers mainly focus on growing enough food to be self-sufficient. Especially in African countries, where people are very dependent of own-grown food, this type of farming is very common. Subsistence…

Gossa and Myrthe in Ghana – part 1

Posted on March 6, 2015 by biktorrr
Originally posted on
Gossa and Myrthe, students from VU University Amsterdam are currently in Northern Ghana, doing fieldwork for the interdisciplinary ICT4D research project “Knowledge Sharing for the Rural Poor“. For this project they received a grant from the Network…

Use Cases

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World-wide our lives are becoming more and more data intensive. We all produce and consume a lot of data in various forms but don’t have an equal access to enabling technologies. Disparities can for instance be observed in access to networking technologies, data/computer literacy and societal status. It is however hard to derive any general rules that would solve everyone’s problem related to data sharing. Things are better considered on a case by case basis, preferably using the “living lab” approach to let problem owners and problem solvers co-develop solutions rather than having one party imposing his view on the other. In the following, we describe some of the use-cases this group is currently working on.

Pharmacy shelf
Pharmacy shelf in the Peruvian Amazon

Pharmacy outposts in the Peruvian Amazon are critical to the population they serve. Among other things, these posts need to share data about the stock they have, the prescriptions given to patients and the spread of diseases they observe. Point-to-point Intranets encompassing areas as wide as 100 km of radius are enablers for high-speed video and audio links health posts for remote consultation, training, and others. Internet is not always available, thus the Intranet can not access central servers which could have been used as central data collection and dissemination point. A decentralized, energy efficient, approach to data storage and sharing would allow to deploy small clusters in each centre. This approach would also give a natural priority to locally stored data, thereby tackling in priority local needs.

For more information about this use-case please get in touch with Martin Murillo.

Market prices

A market in Mali (credit Kasper Souren)

Having the right information about prices for goods, and access to potential buyers, is important to an efficient food-chain from producers to consumers. The later being able to get what they are looking for and the former for generating a revenue out of their work. Data about prices and availability for goods is relevant here. It is important for it to be shared among the different actors especially considering that small subsistence farmers account for more than 90% of Africa’s agricultural production and are usually at the very bottom of the pyramid. But for our case study in Mali, only 1.8% of the population has Internet access, only 10% has access to the electricity network, and only 26.2% is literate. This makes it challenging to deploy a global market information system citizens could get access to. The solutions we have been working on involve voice-based interfaces, local information points and the blending of ICT-based and community radio-based approaches to information dissemination.

For more information about this use-case please get in touch with Victor de Boer.


XOs in Papua New Guinea (credit OLPC)

One Laptop Per Child is a foundation that set himself on a mission to empower deprived school pupils through better education. This encompasses the open learning platform focused on constructivism “Sugar” and a laptop optimized for its typical usage conditions, the “XO“. With this tools, the young learners are able to develop computer skills but also new soft skills such as collective problem solving. Collaboration and self-study is an important part of the philosophy behind the learning platform, users are able to share the content of their work and take a critical look on what they achieved via a portfolio automatically curated by their device. We look at enhancing this data sharing to make it possible to share more data in a semantically rich way. Part of the challenges include the fact that the laptops are mostly used off-line and can not be expected to gain access to massive data hosting solutions. Privacy is also at stake here as the data is directly related to the child using the laptop and may be sensitive.

For more information about this use-case please get in touch with Christophe Guéret.

and more…
Besides the use-cases mentioned above, some of us are also working on issues related to natural hazard prevention (flood monitoring) and emergency response. Both cases demand flexible infrastructures that are low-cost and robust and can be deployed quickly in situations where the infrastructure (electricity, Internet, …) is non-accessible.


Discussion forums

We have two open discussion forums:

Send us a message

Feel free to get in touch with any of us directly