NREL and REEEP have been successfully cooperating using Linked Open Data (LOD) principles and technologies for several months now. Their online information platforms reegle.info and openEI.org use each other’s data and information to enrich both websites – for the benefit of their users.
Question: And why are you using LOD mechanisms for this approach: where do you see the potentials and benefits of using LOD in the area of clean energy information?
Jon Weers explains that access to clean energy information is essential to accelerate the adoption of clean energy technologies. LOD mechanisms have been adopted for openEI.org data to ensure that this information reaches the widest audience possible, to make it easier for renewable energy information to find its way into the hands of developers and 3rd-party disseminators, and to empower them to use the information in ways that haven’t been anticipated. To him, the real benefit of using LOD is enabling REEEP and others to use their data to complement their own sites, create their own applications, and increase the rate at which the market absorbs clean energy information.
Florian Bauer says that LOD and the semantic approach itself offer very good ways of combining different sets of data and providing more useful and meaningful outputs for the user. When both portals use this technology, it is easy to receive and publish each other’s data sets, and it’s a great way to keep fetched information up-to-date without the need to monitor it manually.
Question: Are there concrete results of this LOD project – did you see an increase of user figures and/or did you receive any positive feedback by the users of your information portals?
Jon Weers has noticed a measured increase in the number of unique visitors at openEI coming from LOD partners such as REEEP. They have also received praise from several of our users who enjoy the additional content.
Florian Bauer agrees absolutely – reegle also received a lot of positive feedback from users who liked the approach of finding all relevant information from various data sources in one place. An example are reegle’s compehensive country energy dossiers displaying information from NREl and others for all countries. Since integrating LOD technology, user numbers have increased by more than 100%, and this growth will continue since many other portals are now beginning to use reegle’s and openEI’s data sets to enrich their own information. A good service where reegle uses such external data – from openEI and other sources – is the extensive clean energy glossary featuring defintions for well over 1,000 terms.
It has also emerged for both parties involved that the LOD cooperation has strengthened the cooperation between REEEP and NREL. They are now working closely to coordinate future developments to avoid replication and provide real added value on each portal. One current such project is the development of an reegle API for automated tagging which will be integrated and tested by openEI and other project partners – Eldis and weADAPT.
Energy data is a prime example showing the benefits of the LOD approach. In this arena, there are lots of data providers, all of them providing an immense amount of data that is is critical to analysts and decision makers. Following the rules of LOD ensures that these datasets are published in an open and machine readable format which supports the acceleration of the clean energy marketplace. This fits in perfectly well with the philosophy of both openEI and reegle.