Shadbolt, Nigel; O'Hara, Kieron; Salvadores, Manuel and Alani, Harith (2011). eGovernment. In: Domingue, John; Fensel, Dieter and Hendler, James A. eds. Handbook of Semantic Web Technologies. Berlin: Springer.



The use of the SemanticWeb (SW) in e-government is reviewed. The challenges for the introduction of SWtechnology in e-government are surveyed fromthe point of view both of the SWas a new technology that has yet to reach its full potential, and of e-government as a complex digital application with many constraints, competing interests and drivers, and a large and heterogeneous user base of citizens. The spread of SW technology through e-government is reviewed, looking at a number of international initiatives, and it is argued that pragmatic considerations stemming from the institutional context are as important as technical innovation. To illustrate these points, the chapter looks in detail at recent efforts by the UK government to represent and release public-sector information in order to support integration of heterogeneous information sources by both the government and the citizen. Two projects are focused on. AKTive PSIwas a proof of concept, in which information was rerepresented in RDF andmade available against specially created ontologies, adding significant value to previously existing databases. Steps in the management of the project are described, to demonstrate how problems of perception can be overcome with relatively little overhead. Secondly, the project is discussed, showing the technical means by which it has exploited the growth of theWeb of Linked Data to facilitate re-representation and integration of information from diverse and heterogeneous sources. Drawing on experience in uk the policy and organizational challenges of deploying SWcapabilities at national scales are discussed as well as the prospects for the future.
This chapter will consider the specific issues pertaining to the application of the SemanticWeb (SW) to e-government, and look at some of the ways that the SemanticWeb community has tried to address them. The first section will examine some of the challenges and opportunities for Semantic Web technologies within e-government, and review progress made. The next section will describe a detailed example of the UK’s program to represent government data on the Linked Data Web. It will also review pilot work that preceded the work and which was important in providing insights as to the pragmatic deployment of SW technologies in the public sector. A set of resources will be given for further study, before a discussion of likely future directions of research in this area.

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