The Constitute Project: Comparative constitutional linked data for display, download, and analysis

The Constitute Project is a database of comparative national constitutions, with an interface enabling comparison of provisions, and Linked Data available for querying or for download.

In addition to display of comparative data through the user interface, the system enables downloads of certain data and metadata, including an OWL ontology of constitutions, and querying of Linked Data through a SPARQL endpoint.

Here is a description of the project, from the project’s About page:

Constitute includes the constitution that was in force in September of 2013 for nearly every independent state in the world, but we continue to update these texts as they are amended or replaced. Soon we hope to include a version of many constitutions written since 1789. […]

Constitute was developed by the Comparative Constitutions Project at the University of Texas at Austin. It was seeded with a grant from Google Ideas, with additional financial support from the Indigo Trust and IC2. Semantic data structures were created by the Miranker Lab at the University of Texas using Capsenta‘s Ultrawrap. Site architecture, engineering, and design are provided by Psycle Interactive.

The following organizations have made important investments in the Comparative Constitutions Project since 2005: the National Science Foundation (SES 0648288, IIS 1018554), the Cline Center for Democracy, the United States Institute of Peace, the University of Texas, the University of Chicago, and the Constitution Unit at University College London. […]

Here are descriptions of the data, from the project’s Data page:

We provide Linked Data dumps in three forms:

  • The ontology includes the project’s conceptual inventory together with the constitutional excerpts, and is available as an .owl file
  • The metadata, includes selected attributes the constitutions is available as an .nt file
  • Each country page includes data on the constitutional excerpts of the country with the corresponding topics available as N-Triples (.nt), Turtle (.ttl) and RDF/XML (.xml) files.

All of the data are from, or were collected for, the Comparative Constitutions Project. Some translations are used with permission from HeinOnline and the Oxford Constitutions of the World. […]

Google’s Blog published a post about the project, entitled: Explore the world’s constitutions with a new online tool.

HT @johnlsheridan

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