On open government data, Tim Berners-Lee is almost right

Tim Berners-Lee gave a great talk at the recent Gov 2.0 Expo in which he describes the criteria for creating open and linked government data. In the beginning of his talk he describes a star-based rating system for putting data up in machine readable format, open formats, as a CSV file, etc. As with many things that Tim does, he almost completely had me until he started describing what "linked data format" is in his mind. His notion of linked data is that the values of attributes in a data table would be URLs to some web page somewhere that points to the "definitive" source of data about that thing. There are several reasons why this is incredibly short-sighted and wrong: URLs link to a specific html page on a specific web server. They are only as permanent as long as the web server owner decides to keep it running....

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