University of Southampton Open Data Service
The University of Southampton provides open access to some of our administrative data. We believe that this will be of benefit to our own members and visitors, and increase the transparency of our operations.
Open Data is information that's free to use and republish. We're talking about information that's useful to staff, students and visitors, such as where all our lecture theatres are, and how much the canteen charges for a coffee. This sort of information isn't in any way secret, and we really want everyone to know about it.
Linked data is the combination of different types of information, usually from different sources, to provide something that's far more useful than any one of the source datasets are individually, and that's the whole point of this website. Generally if you wanted to answer the question "where can I get a coffee on the way to my lecture", you'd need to check your lecture timetable to get the room the lecture is in, then look up which building that room is in on the Estates and Facilities website, then check the Catering website to find out where in that building sells coffee... with all the information stored in one place, we can get an answer to our question much more quickly and easily.
About This Website
This site is run by a small group of people within iSolutions' Technical Innovation and Development team (TIDT), using technology developed by the University's Electronics and Computer Science department. Our job is to run around the university collecting as much useful information as we can find, and put it on the web in a form that's easy to use. Most of this site is made up of lists, but we also develop applications and tools that make it easy to use the data. These include our workstation finder which will enable you to find a free iSolutions workstation at any time of day, and our bus.soton service which allows you to enter the name of any landmark, restaurant or pub in Southampton, and instantly find the next bus that goes there. And because all our data and tools are open, you don't need a password, anyone can use them.
Get the Data
We try our hardest to make our tools useful and user-friendly, but the fact is that sometimes others can do it better than us. That's why we make all the data available in as many computer-readable formats as possible. Our database is a triplestore, so we make everything available in RDF format by default, but depending on the data you might be able to get a JSON representation, a CSV file (which loads in Excel), or, where appropriate, iCal, RSS or Google Earth KML. Download complete datasets from our Data Catalogue, or check the 'Get the Data' box at the bottom of most pages on this site. If you do manage to write a useful tool that uses our data, we'd love to know about it so we can put it on our apps page.
You can chat about the service and ideas for the future on our facebook page.