Hackathon on "The power of Linked Data in Agriculture and Food Safety"

Chairs: Christian Blaschke (Semantic Web Company, Vienna), Stasinos Konstantopoulos (Institute of Informatics & Telecommunications of the NCSR Demokritos, Athens)
Date: 18th of September 2015, 10.00 to 16.00 CEST

“Data+Need=Hack”, this is the idea of a hackathon that brings together like-minded people to develop, in a short time frame, novel solutions to problems presented to them. This is what we propose to do here around the theme “Agriculture and Food Safety”. We will use linked data sources and encourage the participants to use the tools, methodologies and datasets proposed, such as AGRIS Data and other FAO Data, Natural Europe, Trees for future, CIARD RING, AGROVOC, Agrotagger, etc., but not limited to them. The participants will ask themselves "How might we develop an application that will help agricultural researchers to discover the resources they need?" and work on finding answers using the datasets and tools given to them.

At the beginning of the workshop the available datasets and APIs will be presented, followed by a brainstorming session aiming to connect these datasets & APIs with the challenges given to them so as to come up with ideas for hacks! The rest of the day will be devoted to work on the data and the challenges. At the end the teams will come together and present and discuss their results in an open and relaxed environment that will provide the opportunity for everyone to learn from what has been achieved that day.

The framework used in the workshop will be the SemaGrow stack (see here for an online-version) that is developed in the SemaGrow project as an answer to the integration needs (big) agricultural data in practise. The SemaGrow stack is a distributed infrastructure layer on top of existing data repositories and networks that supports the interoperable and transparent application of data-intensive techniques over heterogeneous data sources.

The SemaGrow stack integrates:

  • Novel indexing algorithms that support the efficient storage and retrieval under the SemaGrow infrastructure.

  • An extension of state-of-the-art query plan optimization and rewriting methods.

  • The integration of a variety of state-of-the-art schema alignment methods under a novel architecture.

  • The development of a toolkit and best practices guides for both data providers and consumers using the distributed infrastructure layer.

The hackathon aims to bring together software developers, applications developers, .net developers, data modelers, computer systems analysts, software implementation analysts, database administrators, systems administrators, web developers, computer programmers, as well as content providers and educators from the agri-food sector, in order to meet, network and develop innovative software solutions for the agri-food sector with the usage of open data. The focus will be mostly practical, with hands-on experience. At least working knowledge of data and the use of the REST-based APIs and/or the RDF query language SPARQL are required to actively participate in the hackathon.



is an FP7 funded project that envisions the next level of distributed querying over linked data. SemaGrow is developing a new level of scalable, efficient and robust data services based on linked data that is poised to re-shape the way that data analysis techniques are applied to the heterogeneous data cloud.

SemaGrow is organised around a number of real world agricultural resource management use cases. This area represents a good example of a real-world situation where data-intensive analysis needs to combine information from different, large-scale sources that are actively maintained in incompatible schemata: the agricultural domain includes various different topics with subjects varying from plant science and horticulture, to agricultural engineering, to agricultural economics. These different subjects are extensively researched by scientists all over the world, consuming as well as producing an enormous volume of data; agricultural scientists are inundated by an abundance of data as well as reported results relevant to their research as much as their colleagues from different disciplines.

Project web-site: semagrow.eu