The Semantic Web’s Role in Dealing with Disasters

My Census RDF dataset is being used in a public health project:


The Semantic Web’s Role in Dealing with Disasters
August 8, 2008
By Jennifer Zaino

The University of Southern California Information Sciences Institute and Childrens Hospital Los Angeles have been working together to build a software tool. Dubbed PEDSS (Pediatric Emergency Decision Support System), the tool is designed to help medical service providers more effectively plan for, train for, and respond to serious incidents and disasters affecting children.

The project, a part of the Pediatric Disaster Resource and Training Center (PDRTC), has been going on for about eight months.

Dr. Tatyana Ryutov, a research scientist at the USC Information Sciences Institute, is working on the system. Recently, the Institute contacted Joshua Tauberer, the creator of and the man who maintains a large RDF (Resource Description Framework) data set of U.S. Census data, about making SPAQRL queries to that data in conjunction with the PEDSS.

“Currently, demographic data (number of children in four age groups) is entered manually. We want the tool to calculate this information automatically based on a zip-code. Therefore, we extend the tool to query the RDF census data server to get this information,” Ryutov writes. Currently this is the only server the software queries, but Ryutov says they plan to add calls to other census data servers to improve reliability. Those servers do not have to be RDF databases.

(and it continues)

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