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Recent Improvements to the TW Instance Hub

September 19, 2013 Leave a comment

We’re just half way through the fourth week of the semester here at RPI, but I’ve already made a number of improvements to the TW Instance Hub, with more to come.

  • Country and US state pages now present a Google map and flag at the top of the page. The location data is derived from DBPedia, which returns a lat/long of the country/state’s capitol, so on some of these, the sizing is a bit awkward and the borders of the entire entity don’t fit in the maps window, but it’s still better than nothing.
  • Toxic chemicals commonly found in US EPA reports are now part of the instance hub. They can be found at: /id/us/fed/agency/Environmental_Protection_Agency/chemical/
  • A selection of IOGDS (International Open Government Dataset Search) datasets are now presented at the bottom of country pages for those countries that have datasets in our catalog. As there are over a million of these datasets, currently a selection of the top 100 is served up for each country, but I would like to figure out a better way of integrating Instance Hub and IOGDS. Check out the United Kingdom’s datasets at the bottom of their page here.
  • Better backend management – I recently reorganized the backend storage of queries to all for easier management. Rather than house a copy of each necessary query in the /queries directory of each service, I made a folder to house all my service queries and then just symlinked to the necessary queries for the /queries directory in each service. Abstracting out these queries has made the site much easier to manage, and will definitely be important as we seek to further expand it.
  • The listings on intermediate “service” pages (ones that are formed from partial URI paths, but are not URIs themselves, ie: http://logd.tw.rpi.edu/ih2/id or http://logd.tw.rpi.edu/ih2/id/country) now list entities in alphabetical order, making navigation and exploration easier. It’s a minor tweak, but it took a decent amount of work to get this done, as in the process I discovered some bugs in our csv2rdf4lod tool conversion parameters for the instance hub data, and those had to be fixed.

I am working on some more exciting improvements and hope to blog again soon about the latest evolution of the TW instance hub.

 

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