Veni, Vidi, Vici

Three open data competitions sponsored by the LinkedUp Project

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Between October 2012 and October 2014 the LinkedUp Project ran the LinkedUp Challenge: three consecutive competitions looking for interesting and innovative tools and applications that analyse and/or integrate open web data for educational purposes.

The challenge was aimed at anyone from researchers and students, to developers and businesses, each competition builds upon the previous; leading from innovative prototypes and tools through to large-scale deployable systems. There was over 39.500 EUR in prize money to give away.

There were three consecutive competitions.

  • First competition: Veni (March 2013 – September 2013 – has now taken place): Demo prototypes and applications
  • Second competition: Vidi (November 2013 – May 2014): Innovative tools and applications
  • Third competition: Vici (May 2014 – October 2014): Mature data-driven applications

The third and final competition, Vici has now closed. Details of winners can be seen on the submissions page or in this blog post.

Why Participate?

By participating there were opportunities for networking and promoting to a wide audience. Here’s what our winners have to say.

You can:

  • participate in the growing LinkedUp community, establish contact with major organisations from both industry and academia
  • join our regular events, organised in co-location with major conferences and fairs showcase your ideas and solutions to the key community of researchers and practitioners in the education and the Semantic Web fields
  • have the opportunity to work with a large amount of linked datasets, catalogued and provided by LinkedUp
  • benefit from dedicated support and guidance. LinkedUp has a team of people eager to support you and help you develop your idea
  • win one of the attractive prizes and travel bursary

You can join our low traffic public mailing list to receive regular updates and be involved in discussions around linked data, open data, and education.

Vici Competition

The call for submissions was launched at ESWC on 26 May.

  • Competition launch: 26 May 2014
  • Submission deadline: 5 September 2014
  • Notification date: 26 September 2014
  • Presentations and award ceremony at ISWC 2014: 19-23 October 2014

In our final competition on linked and open data for educational purposes, we invited you to submit advanced prototypes and tools that are driven by linked and/or open data. The invitation was to submit your Web application, App, analysis toolkit, documented API or any other tool that connects, exploits or analyses open or linked data and that addresses real educational needs. Your tool should be mature and stable; it should be used or have been used by a fair amount of users on a realistic scale.

We compiled a catalogue of data sets to get you started.

The idea was to mash up the vast amount of material and data on the internet that can be used in education, ranging from course data, lecture slides, and online courses to Wikipedia articles and YouTube videos.

You might design a tool for combining datasets and visualising them in interesting new ways, or perhaps develop a search engine that combines search results from different libraries. Please see our use cases and the Vidi submissions if you are looking for further inspiration.

Alternatively, you may already have an idea that you’ve started developing and we’re keen to help you take this further.

Vici Tracks

The Vici competition comprises of three tracks:

  • One open track for advanced prototypes and applications that are publicly available, are in use or have been used by a fair amount of people.
  • Two focused tracks: a focused track that answers a specific problem and a targeted content track.

Focused Tracks:

  • Focused Track: Supporting Developing Countries The focused track looks for educational applications that target developing countries, addressing context-specific problems, issues and needs, being technical, societal or environmental.
  • Targeted Content Track: Water Resources & Ecology This track involves enhancing journal article content along with related research statistics and datasets to assist in discovery, learning and interpretation of disparate content and data. A number of Elsevier datasets will be made specially available for this track.

More information on the Focused Tracks page.

trophyThe prizes:

  • Open track: €3000 (1st prize) Other tracks: €3000 (1st prize)
  • People’s Choice: €1000
  • The Vidi competition ran from 26th May 2014 till 5th September 2014. Prizes will be awarded at the International Semantic Web Conference in Riva del Garda, Trento, Italy in October 2014.

Enter the competition

The Vici Competition is now closed to submissions.

Data & Support

To give people a headstart, the LinkedUp team have collected and catalogued a variety of data related to education. This includes data about open educational resources, course programmes, and educational facilities.

The catalogue is now available, as well as a SPARQL endpoint. We will be adding datasets, and are currently working to get APIs provided to our existing sets.

Browse the data

We don’t want you to feel limited by the datasets we’ve catalogued. Your application can use any open and/or linked data! For example, you can use the wealth of cultural resources from Europeana, which is available both as Linked data and via a REST API. But please remember that this is an open data competition.

We also want to help you to get started with your contribution to the challenge, by providing support and guidance with respect to technical issues, the use of data or any other obstacle that might come your way in creating your application: The more information you get, the better it is going to be! For example, you can get in touch with us through our developer’s blog, which contains how-tos, examples and code recipes on the use of linked open data in education. But maybe you have specific questions, such as:

  • Is there any data available about the X?
  • Are there linked data-based tools to do Y?
  • Where can I get old of data Z?
  • How do I use SPARQL to do T?
  • Is doing U OK for the track V?

Then use our contact form and somebody from the support team will come back to you shortly. Alternatively, you can reach the support team by email.


What data can be used?

LinkedUp seeks to explore and exploit the wealth of web data for education. This includes data with an explicit educational purpose, as well as other data and information that may not have an explicit educational remit, but can usefully be applied to an educational context.

Whilst we encourage you to look at the LinkedUp data repository, you should feel free to use open and/or linked data from any sources! You could use data on courses or modules, equipment, locations, contacts, results, learning statistics, learning objects, learning analytics, books, journals, citations, reading lists, teaching assessments, student attendance, calendars, energy use, career information, metrics, travel and more. Or how about data from social networking sites, libraries, cultural organisations or data repositories? The most important thing is that the data is openly accessible.

Who can enter?

The competition is open to anyone around the world who likes mashing up data or creating new and interesting tools and applications. We’re especially keen to see startups get involved.

What do you mean by ‘educational purposes’?

The tools and applications developed must be relevant to education – in the broadest sense of the word. This might mean that they aid learning in some way or that they support educational objectives by expanding knowledge and encouraging critical thinking.

What support is there?

The LinkedUp team have set up a developer blog and will be posting ‘cooking recipes’ and ‘how to guides’. We’re also providing technical support on your code, so please email us with any questions you have.

Who is judging the entries?

Entries will be reviewed by an evaluation committee, lead by the LinkedUp advisory board:

  • Sören Auer (University of Leipzig)
  • Balaji Venkataraman (Commonwealth of Learning)
  • Dan Brickley (Google)
  • Philippe Cudre-Mauroux (EPFL)

Additional reviewers are:

  • Jesus G. Boticario, UNED, Spain
  • Dirk Börner, Open Universiteit, the Netherlands
  • Cristian Cechinel, UFPel – Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil
  • Adam Cooper, CETIS, University of Bolton, UK
  • Philippe Cudré-Mauroux, U. of Fribourg, Switzerland
  • Mathieu D’Aquin, KMI, Open University, UK
  • Stefan Dietze, L3S Research Center, Germany
  • Hendrik Drachsler, Open Universiteit, the Netherlands
  • Soude Fazeli, Open Universiteit, the Netherlands
  • Franca Giannini, Institute for the Applied Mathematics and Information Technologies CNR, Italy
  • Denis Gillet, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland
  • Wolfgang Greller, Vienna University of Education, Austria
  • Marieke Guy, Open Knowledge, UK
  • Christophe Guéret, Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS), the Netherlands
  • Eelco Herder, L3S Research Center, Germany
  • Tore Hoel, Høgskolen i Oslo og Akershus, Norway
  • Geert-Jan Houben, TU Delft, the Netherlands
  • Dirk Ifenthaler, Open Universities Australia
  • Wilbert Kraan, CETIS. UK
  • Peter Kraker, Know-Center, Austria
  • Felix Mödritscher, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria
  • Katja Niemann, Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, Germany
  • Elisabetta Parodi, Lattanzio Learning Spa, Italy
  • Eric Ras, Public Research Centre Henri Tudor, Luxembourg
  • Christoph Rensing, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany
  • Olga C. Santos, aDeNu Research Group (UNED), Spain
  • Maren Scheffel, Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT, Germany
  • Owen Stephens, Owen Stephens Consulting, UK
  • Slavi Stoyanov, Open Universiteit, the Netherlands
  • Davide Taibi, Italian National Research Council
  • Tiffany Tang, Kean University
  • Christoph Trattner, KMI, TU-Graz, Austria
  • Raphaël Troncy, EURECOM
  • Ruben Verborgh, Ghent University – iMinds – Multimedia Lab, Belgium

Submissions which receive the highest review ratings with be invited to present at the 13th International Semantic Web Conference, ISWC 2014, (19-23 October 2014) in Trentino, Italy.

What are the reviewing criteria?

Submissions will be evaluated according to these six criteria: 1. Educational Innovation, 2. Usability, 3. Data, 4. Performance, 5. Legal aspects, 6. Audience. Below you will find a short description how these criteria will be applied. If you choose to submit to an Other Track, these will have slightly different evaluation criteria which are detailed on the Other Tracks Page.

  • Educational Innovation Your tool should make innovative use of current technologies or even showcase a new technology, providing the users with learning opportunities that match their individual profiles. This would lead to higher learning achievements, increased satisfaction from learning and less time and effort.
  • Usability The user interface should be easy to use, but having an attractive user interface is less important.
  • Data The submission should use at least one dataset; using web data and providing number of resources. Web data is not necessary available on the Web, but we do expect you to use standard Web protocols like REST or SOAP services. Preferably, the application should use at least two other datasets for enriching the resource.
  • Performance The submission should run stable and have a good response time. The tool should scale with the current increase in the number of Web Data-reachable learning opportunities.
  • Legal aspects You should describe if you indicate the provenance of the used data and how do you protect the data of your users and inform them about its usage (Terms-of-use)?
  • Audience When submitting, you are expected to indicate clearly what the target group is and why. If it can be applied in multiple domains please describe how.

What about Intellectual Property Rights? Neither the LinkedUp Challenge, LinkedUp Project, nor any project partners will claim ownership over your prototypes and tools. You will always retain full ownership of the Intellectual Property, and we will be able to advise you regarding legal, exploitation and dissemination issues relating to your submissions. What is linked data and open data? Linked data refers to data that has been published in a structured way so that it can be easily interlinked and become more useful. Open data is data that can be freely used, reused and redistributed by anyone – subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and sharealike. Ideally we’d like you to use linked open data for your prototypes, but as there isn’t much linked open data about yet, we are happy for you to use any data that is openly available.

Want some tips on how to work with linked data? See our developer blog. What is the LinkedUp Project? The LinkedUp Project is a consortium of six partners: Leibniz Universitat Hannover, the Open University, Elsevier, the Open Universiteit Nederland, Open Knowledge, and Lattanzio Learning Spa. Funded by the European Commission in the FP7 programme, the LinkedUp Project aims to push forwards the use of open and linked data available on the Web, in particular for educational purposes.

These people make up the LinkedUp Challenge team:

These people make up the LinkedUp Challenge team:

StefanDietze Stefan Dietze Project Coordinator EelcoHerder Eelco Herder Challenge Coordinator
HendrikDrachsler Hendrik Drachsler Evaluation Chair MathieuDaquin Mathieu d’Aquin Data and Support Coordinator
MariekeGuy Marieke Guy Dissemination Coordinator

Get in touch!

Do you have any comments or questions? Want some technical support with your code or have suggestions for educational data that we ought to include in our catalogue? Whatever the reason, we’d love to hear from you, and there are multiple ways to get in touch with us:

The project partners on the LinkedUp Challenge.

The project partners on the LinkedUp Challenge.