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Flexible Access To Statistics, Tables And Electronic Resources

Objective

FASTER combines the skills of national statistical institutes, data archives and academic researchers to develop a flexible metadata interface that will accelerate access to all types of statistical data. Bringing together expertise and practical experience in data descriptions and the data production processes will ensure that this interface is designed to ensure that the operational goals of the data disseminators are met.

In particular expertise in statistical disclosure control will be applied to maximise aggregate data output potential. A flexible user environment will enable users to identify and locate data resources regardless of physical locate, and browse the data and metadata in appropriate client applications whether graphical, geographical, aural or textual. The project takes forward developments in metadata, interoperability, personalisation of the user environment and secure access to vital information resources.

Objectives:
Develop an open architecture for the dissemination and use of statistics. It will be based on XML and include discussion with interested parties to define appropriate metadata semantics and structure-building on the experience of current distributed information systems.
Develop a configurable user environment, as a Web based client application or applet, in which the user is able to personalise their environment for immediate interaction (including visualisation and geographical displays) with aggregate and micro statistical data and other resources.
Implement full access control to the underlying data, taking care of both data confidentiality issues (including disclosure control) and the commercial opportunities for the data.

Work description:
FASTER will create an easy to use and flexible tool for access to official and other statistical data. It will do this by developing an environment, incorporating components of existing systems wherever possible, that takes advantage of recent developments in metadata, client side functionality and Web security and statistical disclosure control. The project will be divided into several work packages, broadly based on the five-phase model.

User Requirements
This will ensure that the needs of end users d data producers drive the developments throughout the life of the project.

Functional Specification
The requirements for computer interoperability will be meet by spending the first six months on defining the metadata object model via two expert workshops. The functional specification will incorporate the resulting specification and develop a server architecture that can be developed to demonstrate the feasibility of the metadata interface.

Build Demonstrator
The demonstrator will be built in four sections, led by experts at different partners. These are the development of clients with active content for browsing different data types. A server implementation will handle different types of content and the access control modules. A statistical disclosure control module will implement the current state-of-the art as a semi-automatic dissemination module. Wider access control issues will be handled by an access control module handling registration, authentication and charging.

Validation - verification and demonstration
Usability testing will be a major part of the project to ensure that the prototype is as usable and efficient as possible.

Exploitation
The output of the project will be exploited in two ways. The metadata standards will be freely available and promoted extensively and the prototype will be exploited commercially by the partners via established channels.

Milestones:
Metadata Workshops M3 and M6 System Architecture for demonstrators M4 Development of Beta versions of client, server and access control modules, M18. This project will promote the metadata standards extensively and use these to build a system that demonstrates the efficacy of these standards for user-friendly data dissemination. The final result will be faster, yet managed, access to a wider range of distributed and heterogeneous statistical resources in an integrated user environment.

Call for proposal

Data not available

Coordinator

UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX
Address
Wivenhoe Park
CO4 3SQ Colchester
United Kingdom
 

Participants (7)

CENTRAAL BUREAU VOOR DE STATISTIEK
Netherlands
Address
Prinses Beatrixlaan 428
2270 JM Voorburg
 
CENTRAL STATISTICS OFFICE
Ireland
Address
Skehard Road
Cork
 
CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE
France
Address
3, Rue Michel-ange
75794 Paris Cedex 16
 
DANSK DATA ARKIV
Denmark
Address
Islandsgade 10
5000 Odense C
 
NORWEGIAN SOCIAL SCIENCE DATA SERVICES
Norway
Address
Hans Holmboesgate 22
5007 Bergen
 
STATISTISK SENTRALBYRAA
Norway
Address
Kongens Gate 6
0033 Oslo
 
UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI MILANO
Italy
Address
Via Festa Del Perdono 7
20122 Milano