About LongSpine

This description of the Longitudinal Spine of Government Functions project (LongSpine) which ran in the 2018/2019 Financial Year as part of CSIRO's Data61's Platforms for Open Data (PfOD) series of projects was created at project close (July, 2019) and has been updated since to best demonstrate some of the capabilities that the project facilitated.

§ Project Aim

The aim of LongSpine was to make information about government structure and functions more available to better the integration of other sources of information on topics such as staffing, budgets and reporting. A key part of the aim was to allow changes in structure and function to be tracked over time.

The project did not seeking to replace any structural unit representation or classification system used by the Australian Government but rather it sought to create technically interoperable representation of, and linkages between, existing systems, building them into a spine, that is a set of interoperable reference data objects.

While the project aimed to demonstrate improved capabilities by implementing a spine of interoperable components, the individual component datasets and vocabularies (see the Models & Data pages) may be used independently of the spine and for a range of other purposes. Since the components are represented using Semantic Web data structures which are improvements on the originals in terms of their syntax and definitions for interoperability, it is hoped these versions will be maximally useful individually as a result of this work.

§ Future of LongSpine

There are several small projects in the 2019/2020 Financial Year which are extending on this work. Also, it is possible a LongSpine 2 may be initiated within Financial Years 2019/2020 or 2020/2021.

This spine demonstration will be maintained for an un-specified amount of time, likely the 2020/2021 Financial Year. The component models are published already (see the Models page) via the Australian Government Linked Data Working group with CSIRO providing interim technical maintenance. CSIRO is seeking to hand model maintenance over to the agencies that own the systems modelled (National Archives of Australia, the Department of Finance and the Australian Bureau of Statistics). This website will be available indefinitely, perhaps 5 years from June, 2019.

The datasets built (original data interpreted as RDF via use of the dataset's models) are one-time builds so they are published and available on-going but they are static and will not change are the underlying data does. It is hoped that live interpretations of the underlying datasets may produce continually up-to-date RDF versions of them in the future.

§ Team

The LongSpine project team in 2018/2019 and their project roles was:

§ Ongoing Contacts

For follow-on work from LongSpine or LongSpine-like research work, contact:

Gavin Walker
Principle Experimental Scientist
CSIRO's Data61, Balck Mountain, Canberra

For technical and model management/reuse issues, contact:

Nicholas Car
Data Systems Architect
SURROUND Australia Pty Ltd, formerly of CSIRO's Land & Water Division, Brisbane