PRONOM is The National Archives’ technical registry – we plan to release the data it holds, in a linked open data format, and make it easier to reuse.
Update – 10/04/2013
Development of Linked Data PRONOM has been on hold for a while, but we will be in a position to restart work on Linked Data PRONOM in the second half of 2013.
Update – 27/10/11
Following feedback from the community about our initial vocabulary publication, we have now released a revised version found that can be found here.
The vocabulary is now available in RDF and Turtle, and attempts to amend a number of issues that were raised with the initial modelling attempt. Special thanks for comments go out to Alexander Dutton of Oxford University Computing Services, Mathieu of the LUCERO Project, Bill Roberts at OPF, Lisa Colvin of UDFR, Dave Tarrant at Southampton University and Chris Rusbridge.
We look forward to any feedback you have on the new release and hope that we are going in the right direction of travel.
Update – 25/05/11
A draft vocabulary specification for the linked data version of PRONOM is now available. The document contains specialised information aimed at the linked data community, and we’re putting the vocabulary on Labs as a means of gathering feedback from those with linked data expertise. If you aren’t familiar with linked data and want to get a deeper understanding of this area of interest, a useful tutorial can be found at: linkeddatatools.com/semantic-web-basics
Update – 27/01/11
On his visit to The National Archives in December 2010, Professor Nigel Shadbolt, Professor of Artificial Intelligence in the School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton, and Transparency and Open Data Adviser to UK Government, discussed the Transparency strategy and the impact of open data in supporting social initiatives and in generating economic growth:
Professor Shadbolt talked about linking data to make it easier to uncover. This is exactly the intention of the linked data PRONOM project. The existing data in PRONOM will be accessible though HTTP URIs, allowing users to view the data and follow links to find out more information about that data. This will make it easier to link to the data in PRONOM, promoting the discoverability and reuse of that data, and providing the means to develop the dataset further.
Update – 17/12/2010
Recently we’ve been busy transforming PRONOM data into RDF, experimenting with putting it into a triplestore, and running Puelia, a linked data API maintained by data.gov.uk and Talis on top of the data.
There is still much to do, such as developing various web services (for example, so that it can interact with DROID), and exploring how we will present data from multiple different sources and express provenance. While we are a long way from completion, we hope it’ll give you a chance to see how you will be able to use the data from the new version of PRONOM – and to post your comments on how we can build on what we have done to date.
Please remember that, should you receive a message stating page not found, or the site displays a blank page, this is only an early prototype. We are still in the process of modelling the data and making it available, and some of the logic resting behind the linked data API is still to be configured. Just click back in your web browser and continue to browse. Please also be aware that the vocabulary we are using currently is in its draft stages and will change before the project is finally put into production.
Linked data and PRONOM – 6/10/2010
The PRONOM registry contains information about file formats, compression techniques and encoding types. Linked data is about linking up related data on the web, to help expose, share and connect data, information, and knowledge through using URIs and RDF.
Initially we will concentrate on modelling and publishing file format data already stored in PRONOM, using linked data standards. This is the largest core of data within PRONOM, and our first step to transform the data will be to convert existing data to RDF to describe features of each format. The new version of PRONOM will be extensible, so at a later stage we will enhance the data model to improve other areas of information in the database.
Eventually we hope to be able to use linked data to populate PRONOM from other external data sources, transparently showing where the information came from, and in doing so develop a more comprehensive technical registry.
We want the new version of PRONOM to be an open source system with a completely open code base.
We’d like to hear your comments on our plans, or suggestions for improving the PRONOM database, below – your input will inform its development.