The web tools and standards adopted by US agency Data.gov use the latest semantic web and linked data technology.

The tools have been developed by NUI Galway's Digital Enterprise Research Insititute.

Its technologies allow related data that was not previously linked to be connected together, so that a person or computer can see the bigger picture through interlinked datasets.

Data.gov is a US government portal developed to bring an unprecedented level of transparency to the US government.

DERI's Dr John Breslin, who also lectures in Electronic Engineering at NUI Galway, explains: "I recently saw a universal toy adaptor that allowed you to connect plastic building blocks to wooden construction sets. Linked Data is a bit like that."

"It's based on a universal data format" he added "that allows you to bring datasets from different realms together, making them more useful as a whole. Your planning applications could be linked to your broadband penetration rates or your traffic congestion data to help identify issues and trends."

NUIG's Digital Enterprise Research Institute is the largest research organisation of its kind in the world. It has 140 researchers, and the Institute says that it is collaborating with industry and governments to revolutionise the utilisation of data.