If you haven’t heard already, Agro-Know has recently started working on something huge called LandPortal and we couldn’t be happier. We are talking of course about the leading online knowledge hub about land issues, which features a great deal of open data from regions all around the world. LandPortal also values and encourages networking through open development of its online content with the contribution of various target user groups. Naturally, it felt right for Agro-Know to be part of this wonderful community and so we were given an amazing opportunity to apply our expertise on LandPortal’s Library Module.
The Library Module of LandPortal (otherwise called LandLibrary) aims to become the authoritative virtual repository of land-related information, including peer-reviewed publications, policies, maps, and multimedia content, as stated in the site. Our goal as a team is to replace the older, obsolete LandLibrary Module with a new one, which will be fully included in LandPortal’s current stack. In this new Module, an abundance of land resources will need to be integrated and become available to visitors. Users will have the opporutnity to add their own resources, ingest from external sources, search, filter and export existing ones. Last but not least, all Library data needs to be linked. This means that the Library repository will need to be triplified, stored in a RDF store and published through a SPARQL endpoint. And of course, everything needs to be open-source.
Agro-Know’s LandPortal Task Force consists of four proud members:
- Andreas Drakos: our project and communication manager;
- Elena Kokoliou: our data and licencing expert;
- Giorgos Papoutsis: our data integration assistant and back-end developer
- Panagis Katsivelis: me, Agro-Know’s data discovery assistant and front-end developer
Right now, Elena has just finished a thorough documentation on a proposed data model which hopefully describes best the vast majority of the Library resources, according to well-known and established standards. Next step for her would be the licencing of the data which will be stored in the Library repository. Giorgos has just finished a first stable version of his data ingestion mechanisms which will eventually be able to harvest land data from various sources on the web, APIs and OAI-PMH targets and store them in the LandLibrary. Currently he is patiently performing stress tests to make sure his work is fail-proof against large chunks of data attempted to be imported at once in the Library. From my side, I (Panagis) am building the Discovery Service on top of these data, which will eventually be a search engine that performs advanced searches and content filtering, while performing fast and sleek at the same time. Somewhere at the corner, our omnipotent manager Andreas is watching over the whole process, scheduling frequent Skype-calls with the LandPortal team and presenting them the results from the sprints we run every two weeks.
The LandPortal Library Module is scheduled to finish around February and we will be very glad to see another “baby” of ours in action. Hopefully, the rest of the world will as well.
About the Land Portal: The Land Portal is a global gateway for land-related information that is building a specialized community of land experts from civil society, government, intergovernmental agencies, and academia. It allows access land related information through an easy-to-use online platform, it monitors trends, and identifies information gaps to promote effective and sustainable land governance. As an organization, it is facilitated by the International Land Coalition (ILC) – an initiative aiming to promote secure access to land for rural people through capacity building, dialogue, and advocacy – in close collaboration with the Landtenure.info consortium and a Partnership of approximately 150 land-concerned practitioners from almost 40 organizations.