Implementation of a Linked Open Data Solution for the Statistics Agency of Cantabria's Metadata and Data Bank

Alejandro Villar Fernández, Ana Santurtún Zarrabeitia


Statistics is a fundamental piece inside the Open Government philosophy,
being a basic tool for citizens to know and make informed decisions about the society in which
they participate. Due to the great number of organizations and agencies that collect, process
and publish statistical data all over the world, several standards and methodologies for
information exchange have been created in recent years in order to improve interoperability
between data producers and consumers, of which SDMX is one of the most renowned examples.
Despite having been developed independently of this, the global Semantic Web effort (backed
mainly by the W3C-driven Linked Open Data initiatives) presents itself as an extremely useful
tool for publishing both completely contextualized metadata and data, therefore making them
easily understandable and processable by third parties. This report details the changes made
to the IT systems of the Statistical Agency of Cantabria (Instituto Cántabro de Estadística,
ICANE) with the purpose of implementing a Linked Open Data solution for its website and
statistical data bank, making all data and metadata published by this Agency available not
only to humans, but to automatized consumers, too. Multiple standards, recommendations and
vocabularies were used for this task, ranging from Dublin Core metadata RDFa tagging, through
the creation of several SKOS concept schemes, to providing statistical data using the RDF
Data Cube vocabulary.