Send in your ideas. Deadline October 1, 2024
Theme fund: NGI0 Discovery
Start: 2019-10
End: 2022-10
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Data and AI


Platform for creating, publishing and using open local knowledge

OpenEngiadina is developing a platform for open local knowledge - a mashup between a semantic knowledge base (like Wikipedia) and a social network using the ActivityPub protocol. openEngiadina is being developed with small municipalities and local organizations in mind, and wants to explore the intersection of Linked Data and social networks - a 'semantic social network'.

openEngiadina started off as a platform for creating, publishing and using open local knowledge. The structured data allows for semantic queries and intelligent discovery of information. The ActivityPub protocol enables decentralized creation and federation of such structured data, so that local knowledge can be created by indepent actors in a certain area (e.g. a music association publishes concert location and timing). The project aims to develop a backend allowing such a platform, research ideas into user interfaces and strengthen the ties between the Linked Data and decentralized social networking communities.

Why does this actually matter to end users?

At your local supermarket or community center, everyone in the neighborhood can put up a note to announce a local event, sell something they do not longer need, or organize a fun party. Search and discovery in this way is organized completely equally: as long as no one messes with the notes or tries to keep someone away from the note board, everyone is free to search for what they need or have their services and products be discovered.

On the internet, search and discovery is not always equally organized. Most users are free to get together, start a website and share what they want to share, but how can they be sure they are actually discovered? That is governed by search engines and social platforms, who make up their own rules which sites, profiles and messages are displayed in their search results and how they are ranked. Users have to rely on these intermediaries to get their information out into the world, and usually have no other choice but to simply accept the terms of service of these platforms.

What if we could make online search work just as simple, democratic and transparent as a note board? Or even better? This project helps to make search and discovery on the internet more democratic by giving users the tools and technology they need to put their information out there on their own. If you want to organize a block party and announce the date to people in your community, you do not need to blindly trust some company to hopefully include your data in a list of search results users see when they are looking for local festivities. Instead, you can simply announce your party date in a particular way, and the technology this project will develop makes sure that this information can be easily found. This way, online search becomes a democratic community effort, instead of a commercial popularity contest.

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This project was funded through the NGI0 Discovery Fund, a fund established by NLnet with financial support from the European Commission's Next Generation Internet programme, under the aegis of DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology under grant agreement No 825322.