Copenhagen - 7 June 2012. At the European Data Forum (EDF) 2012, opencorporates.com founder Chris Taggart presented the added-value of an open identifying system for companies. Through his involvement in the Core Business Vocabulary Working Group, a similar identifying system is part now part of the Core Business Vocabulary.
Opencorporates.com is an independent open data initiative, maintaining information of over 43 million companies in 50 jurisdictions, including 23 US states. In his presentation at the European Data Forum 2012, founder Chris Taggart explained that much of the added-value the open company register brings is based on the fact that it uses an open identifying system for legal entities: Each legal entity has a unique resource identifier (URIs) that is IP-free and is based on identifier of the company in its local company register. For example, the following URIs uniquely identify a number of distinct companies that have London 2012 Olimpics in their name:
LONDON OLIMPICS 2012 LIMITED: http://opencorporates.com/companies/gb/04650691
OLIMPICS 2012 LIMITED: http://opencorporates.com/companies/gb/04650692
LONDON OLIMPICS LIMITED: http://opencorporates.com/companies/gb/04650857
According to Crhis Taggart, having an open identification system for legal entities is a minimum for sharing information about companies in an interoperable way. It allows among others the following services to be developed on opencorporates.com :
- Company search and triangularisation: opencorporates.com has a simple search for companies, allowing search across multiple jurisdictions to be executed within minutes, rather than days required to contact the local company registers that are not openly accessible on the Web. Information that is not available in one register is linked to information from another register. This allows users to triangulate data and obtain information in minutes that was previously nearly impossible to obtain.
- Entity reconciliation: opencorporates.com offers reconciliation web services that allow any user to cleanup of messy company names, and associate them with unambiguous company URIs. Via integration with tools like Google refine company information can be associated with unique company identifiers.
- Enriched company data: opencorporates.com uses its open identification and reconciliation services to enrich its company data with information such as company addresses, international trademarks, UK government spending, health & safety violations, etc.
Since November 2011, opencorporates.com participated in the ISA Core Vocabularies Working Group, building consensus on a fundamental data model for identifying and describing fundamental information about legal entities. One of the main benefits that the Core Business Vocabulary will bring is the open identification system of companies, similar to the one foreseen by opencorporates.com.
About the Core Business Vocabulary
Version v1.00 of the Core Business Vocabulary was released to the general public on 7 May. On 23 May MS representatives in the ISA Coordination group have endorsed the specification, hereby committing to further disseminate and exploit the work in national initiatives. The Core Business Vocabulary will now undergo a year-long standardisation process with the W3C GLD Working Group. In the coming year, the ISA Programme will encourage governmental organisations to pilot the use of the Core Business Vocabulary for the exchange of business data.
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