The Environment Agency selects TSO’s OpenUp® Linked Data platform to publish its Catchment data

TSO has worked with the Environment Agency to publish Catchment data as Linked Open Data and to create a Catchment Data Explorer that lets people see data via an interactive map, by location or postcode.

The Environment Agency’s (EA) principal aims are to protect and improve the environment and to promote sustainable development. Via the Government’s Water Framework Directive, the EA was tasked with improving the UK’s water environment which involved producing River Basin Management Plans for River Basin Districts. This means gathering and publishing information on the state of the water environment to understand the causes of environmental problems and find solutions to them. External parties need to access this important data, to study and make better use of it.

The EA therefore needed to create an open digital service to share this Catchment data as linked data and chose semantic experts TSO to develop the new online service on its behalf. The project required making the Catchment data available in an open way for reuse by anyone and this was achieved by holding it as RDF triples in TSO’s OpenUp®platform. The objective was to allow third parties to pull the data and re-use it in the development of applications as well as combining it with data from other sources. The information can be accessed via linked data APIs via a SPARQL endpoint.

TSO also developed, hosts and manages the EA’s Catchment Data Explorer, an online application to enable sharing of this information in compelling ways, thus engaging with local people and helping them work with the EA to improve their water environment. Via the catchment data explorer, users can navigate to catchments and water bodies, view catchment summaries and download data. It is possible to select location via an interactive map or by searching by river basin districts, towns, postcodes, geographical coordinates or local authorities.

The EA joins other leading organisations like the Office for National Statistics, The National Archives and The British Library who have all chosen TSO’s OpenUp® linked data platform to hold and disseminate their open linked data. The OpenUp® platform is available as a fully maintained service, meaning quick and cost-effective deployment of clients’ linked data solutions. It is supported by TSO’s skilled team of semantic experts, on hand to provide associated services such as data modelling and transformation.

Tom Guilbert, Senior Team Leader at the EA commented “We are delighted to be working with TSO on delivering our catchment data as Linked Open Data. By opening the data up in this way we hope to make it as easy as possible to reuse the information, to engage local users of the water environment and promote action to help understand and improve it.”

Peter Camilleri, Business Development Director at TSO said “We are very proud to be helping the Environment Agency in their task to bring about improvements in water management - an important topic that affects us all. As the world focuses more and more on improving the environment, it is exciting to see how linked data can be harnessed to assist with this mammoth task.”

Please visit the interactive catchment data explorer here: http://environment.data.gov.uk/catchment-planning/

About OpenUp®

The OpenUp® platform is a collection of integrated services available as Software as a Service (SaaS), allowing fast, cost effective deployment. Together, the services provide a highly scalable and resilient platform that allows you to store, query, enrich and release your data.  See http://openup.tso.co.uk/openup-platform

For more information contact peter.camilleri@tso.co.uk

About the Environment Agency (EA)

The EA works to create better places for people and wildlife, and support sustainable development.

Within England the EA is responsible for:

  • regulating major industry and waste
  • treatment of contaminated land
  • water quality and resources
  • fisheries
  • inland river, estuary and harbour navigations
  • conservation and ecology

The EA is also responsible for managing the risk of flooding from main rivers, reservoirs, estuaries and the sea.