Publication of Base Registers as Linked Open Data

An innovation project commissioned by E-Government Switzerland laid the foundations to systematically tackle the LOD publication of base registers and controlled vocabularies by Swiss authorities.



Promoting the transition towards Linked Open Data (LOD) is a central component of the Swiss Confederation’s new Open Government Data Strategy. In this context, the provision of base registers and controlled vocabularies plays the role of a catalyst: Together with jointly used data models or ontologies, they ensure that data sets can be linked with each other across organisational boundaries.

Course of action

In order to highlight the practical challenges associated with data publication, two basic registers and a controlled vocabulary were published on a test server as Linked Open Data. In addition, prioritisation criteria for data publication by Swiss authorities were developed and, based on an online survey within the Swiss LOD community, a ranking of data sets with regard to their potential use was established.


So far, only a few base registers are provided by the Swiss public administration as Linked Open Data. There is also some catching up to do as regards the publication of controlled vocabularies. The study shows which base registers should be published with priority from the point of view of the Swiss LOD community. It also points out the importance of the active participation of data holders; their participation can be facilitated by better tools and instructions.