Solid – Best shape your data to make data sharing easier

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Tuesday, September 7, 2021 - 09:00 to 12:30

Organized by: 
Pieter van Everdingen, PLDN
Joep Meindertsma, CEO of Argu and Ontola

Solid is an initiative that was started by Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, to realize a course correction of the World Wide Web as it is now. Our personal online data is locked into systems and large technology platforms and cannot easily be shared with other persons and organizations. We are not in control over our own online personal data anymore and our personal data might be abused for the wrong reasons. The ambition of Solid is to give users the control back over their personal online data via a set of specifications, supporting technologies that implement these specifications and via a global community and ecosystem, where experts around the world work together to realize the different building blocks of the Solid ecosystem.

This workshop will give you an overview of where we are now in our journey to realize the Solid ambitions. Starting with an overview of the latest developments in the Solid ecosystem and the value of Solid for the different participants in the Solid ecosystem, we dive into the developer journey for creating Solid apps using reusable UI and server components. Then we will highlight two use cases that will show how a My Citizen Profile is going to work for all citizens in Flanders and how digital heritage objects can be registered and maintained by administrators of small heritage organizations and how these objects can be shared on the web with a global audience. And this workshop will end with a look into the future and how universities can contribute to Solid via their research projects to provide building blocks for additional functionalities within the Solid ecosystem.

Program of the workshop

Speakers: Session part 1 (09.00-10.30) 

Ruben Verborgh (IDLab – Ghent University – imec)

  • Talk: The Solid Ecosystem – an introduction
  • Ruben is is a professor of Decentralized Web technology at IDLab, Ghent University – imec, and a research affiliate at the Decentralized Information Group of CSAIL at MIT. Additionally, he acts as a technology advocate for Inrupt and the Solid ecosystem wherein people and organizations control their own data. He aims to build a more intelligent generation of clients for a decentralized Web at the intersection of Linked Data and hypermedia-driven Web APIs. Through the creation of Linked Data Fragments, he introduced a new paradigm for query processing at Web-scale. He has co-authored two books on Linked Data, and contributed to more than 250 publications for international conferences and journals on Web-related topics.
  • Homepage:

Tom Haegemans (Digita)

  • Talk: Beyond Facebook: How Solid will disrupt the personal data economy.
  • In this session, Tom will present about how you can generate business value with personal data ecosystems and the Solid standard.
  • Tom manages Digita and is responsible for research and marketing. He is also an adjunct professor at KU Leuven where he teaches ICT Service Management. He holds a PhD in Business Economics, a Master's degree in Information Management and a Bachelor's degree in IT. His research about data quality is published in well-respected scientific journals. Before co-founding Digita, Tom was a PhD Researcher at LIRIS (KU Leuven) and a Visiting Researcher at the University of Cambridge.
  • LinkedIn:

Wouter Janssens (Digita)

  • Talk: Improve application interoperability through semantic components
  • The goal of Semantic Components (Semcom) is to construct a decentralised registry to support the dynamic binding of semantic components in Solid applications. This registry is based on insights of practical solutions such as OpenComponents and while using theoretical building blocks such as linked data shapes as a foundation
  • Wouter manages Digita and is responsible for Digita’s product management and design. He holds a Master’s degree in Information Management and a Bachelor’s degree in IT. Before co-founding Digita Wouter was responsible for in-store technology at Delhaize Belgium and Luxembourg.
  • LinkedIn:

Speakers: Session part 2: (11.00-12.30)

Goedele Van der Spiegel (Digital Flanders)

  • Talk: Flemish government solid plans made concrete through My Citizen Profile
  • In Flanders, My Citizen Profile was launched two years ago. It is your personal overview of all your government affairs. My Citizen Profile collects all your official data and your public administration. It offers you a view of the data known about you. Think of your home address, diploma, permits, recognitions, etc. As a citizen, you would like to have control over these data so that you can use them in other contexts or applications. To this end, the Flemish government is now investing in solid, a new web protocol whereby you can regulate and manage the access to your pod yourself, a digital vault. Letting data flow is the key.
  • Goedele is as department manager responsible for the Channel Solutions department, including the products My Citizen Profile, web platform and Vlaamse Infolijn.
  • LinkedIn:

Enno Meijers (Dutch Digital Heritage Network)

  • Talk: Solid-based collection registration system pilot for small heritage organizations
  • The Dutch Digital Heritage Network (NDE) is a cooperation between cultural heritage institutes in the Netherlands. With the ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) as an enabling environment, the NDE program aims at increasing the social value of the cultural heritage information available at libraries, archives, museums and other cultural institutions. The program focuses on improving the visibility, usability and  sustainability of the digital heritage information. A core strategy for the usability program is implementing linked data and semantic technologies to achieve a higher level of standardization and enable data integration and reuse. In the past years NDE has worked with larger institutions and their IT-vendors to support the standards and functionality to enable data sharing and publication within the NDE network. As part of the cultural heritage sector there are also many small organizations or even individuals that contribute digital information to the network. In order to support these small organizations to share their data in an interoperable way, NDE decided to run a project to investigate the feasibility of a Solid based collection registration system (Solid-CRS) with basic functionality. As the Solid environment is fully based on Linked Data technologies an application like this would be NDE compliant out-of-the box. And being a part of the Solid ecosystem it also could open up new ways of cooperation and sharing data. In this talk we will demonstrate the Solid-CRS application that the NDE-team has built together with the Digita. The project was realised with the support of the Platform Linked Data Netherlands (PLDN) and the “Innovatiebudget Digitale Overheid”.  
  • Enno Meijers works as an advisor at the Research Department at KB | National Library of the Netherlands. His main focus area is in information infrastructures and (semantic) web technologies. He currently works as a program manager for the Dutch Digital Heritage Network (NDE). He is leading the program to improve the usability and discoverability of the Dutch heritage collections. Linked Data and distributed web technologies are the main building blocks for this infrastructure. Previously Enno worked as information manager for KB and, the digital infrastructure for the public libraries in the Netherlands. Enno is chair of the Dutch DBpedia chapter and a member of the DBpedia Association Board. He studied Electrical Engineering and Business Informatics and has been working in the cultural heritage domain for over twenty years. 
  • LinkedIn:

Pieter Colpaert (IDLab – Ghent University – imec)

  • Talk: How universities can contribute to Solid with their research projects
  • Several universities around the world are very active within the Solid Community and IDLab, Ghent University - imec are very good examples of that. During this session, Pieter will highlight some of the research projects that students and researchers of IDLab and imec are working on how these projects contribute to the Solid Ecosystem.
  • Pieter is a professor at IDLab – Ghent University – imec, researching cost-efficient and maintainable Linked Data Web APIs. In 2012, he co-founded a not-for-profit organisation to promote Open Knowledge in Belgium, and today he is a member of the board at Open Knowledge Belgium. He got his PhD called “Publishing Transport Data for maximum reuse” in 2017 from Ghent University, in which he outlined how Web APIs can be designed to fully automate data integration, which he applied to public transit route planning. However, during his PhD period he also worked on other verticals within the e-gov domain, smart cities, administrative simplification and Open Data in general. During his post-doc period he was the technology coordinator of the Smart Flanders program. In 2021, Pieter was appointed professor at Ghent University in Knowledge on Web-Scale, teaching Big Data Science and data architure.
  • LinkedIn:

About the organizers:

Pieter van Everdingen

Pieter is one of the community leads of Platform Linked Data Netherlands (PLDN) and he also works as an independent Enterprise & Information Architect in linked data projects for his customers. He has a background in business rules from his study at the Technology University Eindhoven and he has worked in projects and programs that implemented Artificial Intelligence solutions.

Joep Meindertsma

Joep is the CEO of Argu and Ontola and he is the Chief Technical Officer of Dexes. He is involved in many innovative projects, like Atomic Data (a specification for modeling and exchanging data), Dexes (an open data marketplace), DexPod (a Solid pod implementation), Argu (an e-democracy platform), (a search index for governmental documents) and projects for model-driven development of linked data applications with reusable server and UI components.

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