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Towards a common language for describing e-Government metadata

Asset Description Metadata Schema

The ADMS Working Group in the context of Action 1.1 (methodologies for the development of semantic assets) of the Interoperability Solutions for European Public Administrations (ISA) Programme has the objective to review, revise and finalise the specification of the Asset Description Metadata Schema (ADMS). A final draft will be made available for a one-month public comment period; comments received from the public will be taken into account in the preparation of the final specification to be submitted for endorsement by the ISA Coordination Group

ADMS is the schema to define semantic interoperability assets. A semantic interoperability asset is a collection of reference data items that are used for e-Government metadata and the sharing of which among administrations would contribute to increased interoperability across organisational and geographic boundaries.

The European need for semantic interoperability

The lack of semantic interoperability between public administrations is identified by the EU Digital Agenda as a major obstacle to the Digital Single Market and the provision of crossborder digital public services. There are different challenges in Europe such as multilingualism and interoperability. The latter is compromised by the lack of commonly agreed and widely used data models, divergent interpretations of the same data and the absence of common reference data such as code-lists or taxonomies. Agreeing on and re-using common semantic interoperability assets across Europe is an important step in facilitating semantic interoperability. The European Commission, in the context of the ISA programme, is undertaking a number of initiatives related to Metadata Management to reduce semantic interoperability conflicts in Europe

What is the mission of ADMS?

Reusing semantic interoperability assets already being produced by public administrations, businesses, standardisation bodies and academia can facilitate semantic interoperability. However, finding them is not an easy task. The Asset Description Metadata Schema (ADMS) is a common way to describe semantic interoperability assets. ADMS will make it possible for everyone to search and discover semantic interoperability assets through a federation of asset repositories.

From mid 2012, the Joinup platform, implemented under the ISA programme, will make available a large number of semantic interoperability assets, described using ADMS, through a federation of asset repositories of Member States, standardisation bodies and other relevant stakeholders. Through this federation, semantic interoperability assets will become retrievable and available via a single point of access.

You can find more information on the brochure of the ADMS Workshop.

Open Data

Open data is a philosophy and a practice that requires that certain data are of free access to all, with no technical or legal limitations. In the public sector, having access to data from the administration guarantees transparency, efficiency and equal opportunities, and also creates value.

Several governments around the world are promoting projects promoting Open Data such as the government of Catalonia with his OpenData Gencat. The European Commission considers that public data must be able to be reused by the general public and enterprises alike, as this not only ensures transparency but can be an engine of development for the information and knowledge society, particularly with regard to the digital content sector.

How ADMS fits into Open Data Initiatives

Adopting Open Data is a major step in European governments. It will increase transparency from governments to citizens and businesses and will leverage the trust on our institutions and governments. Nevertheless, to avoid creating islands of open data in Europe, which could lead to fragmented open data initiatives, describing them using the same metadata as proposed by ADMS  is a major step towards an interoperable Open Government Metadata, increasing the awareness of initiatives like the one in the Catalonian government.

This awareness is of critical importance towards the provision of seamless cross-border services and for enabling transparent and user-friendly European Public Services.

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