What is the Land Portal Foundation?
The Land Portal Foundation is a non-profit foundation registered under Dutch law. The aim of the Land Portal Foundation is 1) to improve knowledge and communication around land rights and land governance, with a special emphasis on the landless and vulnerable people, as well as 2) to develop and maintain the website the Land Portal. You can find more information about the Land Portal Foundation here.
What is the Land Portal website?
The Portal allows for the collection, sourcing, and searching of otherwise fragmented and inaccessible data and information on land governance and land use from diverse sources, produced by governments, academia, international organizations, indigenous peoples and NGOs. Besides documenting land rights, the Portal also encourages social information exchange, debate and networking.
Why do I need the Land Portal to find land-related resources more easily? What added value does the Land Portal have over search engines such as Google?
The Land Portal website allows users to search more pointedly to particular resources than a general search engine as Google does. The metadata of all the resources published on the Land Portal, whether they are datasets, indicators, news items, reports, research papers or peer-reviewed publications, are enriched according to Linked Open Data standards. This means that the content is more discoverable by default, because of the use of standards, such as a standard vocabulary. More importantly however, the Land Portal features information from global as well as local/grassroots sources on the same level. Search engines such as Google feature search results in an order that is determined by the amount of visits a website gets or even how much the particular website pays. Grassroots knowledge is therefore particularly hard to find through these search engines. The Land Portal features these sources at the same level as the global sources.
What is Linked Open Data?
The Land Portal offers piloting and innovative information management services by adopting international recognized standards to structure and expose its content and making use of Linked Data technologies to make the content machine readable, interoperable and reusable by others. By making use of Linked Open Data technologies and the semantic web, the content will become more discoverable and easily shared by land researchers and practitioners and the land community as a whole. ‘Open’ Data means that the resources and data are published under open licenses that allow for re-use of the information, which increases the value and usefulness of the information. ‘Linked’ Data stands for semantically well structured, interconnected, syntactically interoperable datasets that are distributed among several repositories either inside or outside organizations. Content becomes more discoverable, because Linked Data technology uses standard controlled vocabularies, such as AGROVOC, to index metadata records. In this way, the Land Portal and its partners contribute to create an ecosystem of information providers where the sharing and reuse of land governance content becomes the norm.
Among others, the benefits of Linked Open Data are that it:
- Allows Information Service Providers in the global North and South to extract data from other services to enhance their own;
- Allows for greater and less problematic sharing of data between institutions: a web of data can make a large contribution to enrich organization information sources with valuable background knowledge;
- Enables third parties opportunities for data innovations (metadata management built on open standards is the key to unveil valuable data which is momentarily locked in proprietary formats and schemas);
- Supports the development of applications that can follow links between datasets;
- Provides the foundation for data-driven websites, tools and applications e.g. mapping mash-ups of statistics, mobile applications driven by real-time open data (semantic technologies like text mining, linked data and semantic knowledge modelling are some of the best developed approaches to extract knowledge from large heaps of information.
What is LandVoc?
LandVoc is the Linked Land Governance Thesaurus. The thesaurus contains concepts (words, terms) relating to land governance and the issues relating to land governance worldwide. These concepts have been derived from existing established vocabularies, such as AGROVOC (the agriculture thesaurus) and the IIED vocabulary. The concepts from these existing vocabularies that relate to land governance, have been ‘linked’ together in LandVoc. The Land Portal applies the LandVoc Thesaurus to index and ‘tag’ the metadata from its resources. By adding hierarchies and synonyms between the different terms, the discoverability of the content is improved significantly. The LandVoc Thesaurus is - always – a working product, being constantly updated and improved. The Land Portal is working with several partners in the global South to include the local usage of the different concepts and enhancing definitions. You can find the LandVoc, Linked Governance Thesaurus, here.
How can I contribute to the Land Portal?
The Land Portal has from its beginning in 2009, always been a partnership and relied on the information of others. The Land Portal does not produce knowledge, but brings together resources and data relating to land governance from third parties in one place. Contributions from other organizations or individuals are therefore very welcome. In order to add content to the Land Portal, you need to be registered as a user. To register as a user for the Land Portal, please click on this link. As a user you can three types of resources to the Land Portal: news, events and resources in the Land Library. Should you want to contribute more, such as blog posts, please create a user profile and send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org requesting to update your user account to the ‘Contributor’ status.
How do I add news to the Land Portal?
News items are the most commonly published content type on the Land Portal. Along with news headlines, this section includes announcements from the land governance community such as calls for papers, launches of new publications or initiatives, and opportunities for grants, research, or jobs. News items will be displayed on http://landportal.info/debate/news and can be promoted to the Land Portal home page by a site administrator. Click here to create a news item now. Please take a careful look at the posting guidelines before posting your first news item.
How do I add an event to the Land Portal?
Users are encouraged to use the Land Portal to promote their global, regional, or in-country events on topics of interest to the land governance community. Examples include land-related conferences, workshops, or training seminars. Events will post to the following page: http://landportal.info/debate/events. Click here to add an event now. Please take a careful look at the posting guidelines before posting your first news item.
How do I add a Land Library Resource?
The Land Library contains a wide range of land-related resources, such as manuals and guidelines, reports and research, policy papers and briefs, training resources and tools, journal articles and books, legislation and policies, peer-reviewed publications as well as multimedia content. Before posting a resources, you must ensure that you have the permission of the copyright holder to post and share the resource. In most cases, you should post a link to the resource on the organization's website rather than directly uploading a document file. Publications will appear on the following page: http://landportal.info/node/add/landlibrary-resource. Click here to add a Land Library resource now. Please take a careful look at the posting guidelines before posting your first news item.
How do I add my blog post to the Land Debate?
A ‘regular’ user of the Land Portal does not have the permissions to post a blog post. Should you want to feature your blog post on the Land Portal, please send an email to email@example.com with your request. The site administration can give you a ‘contributor’ status, which allows you to add blog posts to the Land Portal as well. Blog posts are promoted widely by the Land Portal’s Communications Specialist, through social media as well as in the Land Portal’s news digest, which reaches over 16,000 subscribers from the land governance community.
How can I organize an online discussion in the Land Debate?
If you have an interesting topic on which you would like the input of other land experts, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Please submit a one-page proposal with the topic of the discussion, proposed facilitation plan and we will get back to you as soon as possible. We try to schedule the online discussions we hold on the Land Portal, to ensure maximum participation.
What is the Land Portal news digest?
The Land Portal news digest is a service the Land Portal Foundation offers. It is a news bulletin which is sent out to the Land Portal’s mailing list of over 16,000 subscribers from the land governance community. The news digest is sent out in four languages: English, Spanish, French as well as Portuguese. The digests contain a selection of the news items from the previous three weeks, the blog posts that were posted on the Land Portal, the upcoming events, latest publications and more. Click here to sign up for the Land Portal’s news digest.
What are the terms and conditions of using the content published on the Land Portal?
The Land Portal advocates strongly for the use of open licenses to maximize the usability of the information published on the Land Portal. Considering this, in principle, the information available on the Land Portal is available under a Creative Commons 4.0 license. This means that users are free to:
- Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
- Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material
for any purpose, even commercially.
HOWEVER, the structure of the Land Portal allows anyone with an Internet connection to register and create content. The Land Portal cannot guarantee the veracity of the information posted by users. Any given content may have been changed, vandalized or altered by someone whose opinion does not correspond with the state of knowledge in the relevant fields. Therefore, before downloading and re-using information published on the Land Portal, please check whether there are no specific copyright restrictions mentioned. Please also note that in the Land Library, in principle only the metadata is available as Open Data, and the actual resource is not. Due to these reasons, the Land Portal Foundation can in no way be held responsible for the content that is contained in these webpages.