As the project has progressed, we’ve come across lots of great geospatial web resources with potential interest to users of our data. We hope to compile a detailed list of these to be made available via the UK Data Archive website, bringing them to an audience who might not otherwise be aware. I thought I’d talk briefly about a few of my favourites.
Unlock Textand OpenCalais are web tools for extracting structured information from text. I’ve started using Calais Viewer for tagging blog posts – throw in your text and get back a list of rated suggestions. It can even establish entities and relationships suitable for use in RDF (although as you can see in the example below, the technology isn’t perfect yet!)
Unlock on the other hand is totally geo- focused, and returns best guess location information and grid references for spatial references in input text. These tools taken together offer great potential for extracting structured geospatial information from the largely untapped world of qualitative data.
Wikipedia's section on the history of GIS put through OpenCalais Viewer.
Google Refine is one of those tools that you soon wonder how you ever did without, and has relevance to almost anyone who handles data. As the name implies, it is essentially a data cleansing tool – a job it does intuitively and elegantly. It’s also an ideal tool for preparing your data for the semantic web (but that’s a whole other post!) See the video below for a run through of some of its features.