IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - Winter 2013 - 53

Table I
Overview of Existing Open Data Formats
Open Data format

Information description

CSV - Comma-Separated Values

Columns separated by commas, widely supported by many software and
tools
W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) standard since 1997
Format for APIs, IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) standard since
2006
Format for notification and updates
Semantic web format, W3C standard since 2004
Format for representing geographic data

XML - Extensible Markup Language
JSON - Javascript Object Notation
RSS - Really Simple Syndication
RDF - Resource Description Framework
KML - Keyhole MArkup Language

it allows adding new storage servers
without disconnecting the platform
service. The implementation architecture allows decentralization and
solves the low-latency and reliability problems.
Linked Data Concept
To read and use Open Sensor Data
information we need to know how
it is structured, especially given that
each sensor manufacturer is offering values in a non-standardized
way. At the least, sensor metadata
should include: title of the dataset,
time of publication, publisher, its
category, possible applicable tags,
license of use, and more information that has to be defined in the
metadata. Metadata standards commonly used in public administration are the Dublin Core Metadata
Element Set, ISO 19115 - Geographic Information Metadata, and
ISO/IEC 11179 - Metadata registry Standard [17] and [18].

Table I provides an overview of
recommended data formats for publishing Open Data. It is commonly
understood that those formats are
considered "open" in the sense that
a proprietary program is not needed
to read and reuse them. with respect
to Open Sensor Data, XML and
CSV are today some of the most
common formats when the information has been pre-processed to
be sent on wSN. It seems that CSV
will gain adepts because CSV has a
more compact structure according
to Suhonen and Kivela compared
with XML [19].
To enrich and improve data connection, xlink [20] can be used to better define the terms and concepts of
metadata. The use of links for each
concept will give consistency to the
data and allow it to be reused.
It is expected that the "star rating" concept of linked data can
also be applied to Open Sensor
Data. The linked data concept was

introduced in 2006 by Tim BernersLee [21]. Table II shows had it can
be used with Open Sensor Data.
Once this step can be achieved,
integrity and trusted data will be verified through the use of linked data.
The number of links that point to the
same definition, or the same dataset,
is a guarantee of the data it contains.
If a catalogue of data serves false
or bad data, other datasets will stop
pointing to it, and it will end up isolated. The need to guarantee data
integrity and trustworthiness must
be one of the pillars of any new portal. Knowing how to implement or
use a standard like xlink will help
prepare areas of metadata and value
for this future step if it cannot be
implemented initially.
Integration Through Platforms:
A Must
The most relevant Open Data portals,
such as those from the English, American, Austrian, Brazilian, Dutch, and

Table II
Starring the Open Sensor Data
Stars
1
2
3

4
5

Open Linked Data

Open Sensor Data

Make your stuff available on the Web (whatever
format) under an open license
Make it available as structured data (e.g. excel
instead of image scan of a table)
Use non-proprietary formats (e.g., CSV instead of
Excel)

Make WSNs data available on the Web in a raw data
and with brief explanation to human readable data
Make it available in a machine-readable format and
add geo-position as a MUST to it
Use non-proprietary programs to read the
information (e.g., CSV per sensor instead of its
internal proprietary message format)
Use a URI to each formatted data, for each sensor
and not for all the bunch of sensor information
Link the sensor data to other sensors datasets to
provide awareness of information

Use URIs to identify things, so that people can
point at your stuff
Link your data to other data to provide context

IEEE TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY MAGAZINE

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wINTEr 2013

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