Australian Web Observatory goes live


Lead by WST board member Anni Rowland-Campbell the latest WO in a World-Wide Web of Observatories (W3O) went live in Australia thanks to hard work of the joint team from the University of South Australia (UNSA) and WSTnet member the University of Southampton. This is a government-lead observatory project looking at the issue of ageing population and how evidence-based policy can be informed through the use of Observatory technologies.

Click here to find out more

IIIT-Bangalore hosts India’s first Web Observatory

India’s first web observatory was launched at the International Institute of Information Technology–Bangalore on Tuesday.

The observatory was launched by Prof S Sadagopan and Prof Dame Wendy Hall at a workshop on web science attended by scientists from India and the United Kingdom, jointly organised by IIIT-Bangalore and the British High Commission.

Sadagopan stressed the growing importance of research in web science and noted that the web, be it in business, governance or in personal life, has had a major role to play. He termed web science a game-changer for a growing economy like India.

Prof Dame Wendy Hall, Executive Director of the Web Science Institute at the University of Southampton, the UK, said, “The web has changed lives irrevocably and the observatory is crucial in providing the data and data analytics to support evidence-based policy making and business intelligence in the future. It is great to see the development of the observatory at IIIT-B as the first step of the evolution of network of web observatories in India.”

Analytics platform  
The web observatory provides a global, distributed analytics platform that not only provides access to datasets of various sizes but also helps analyse the web.

It has been set up in partnership with the Web Science Trust, the University of Southampton and other global web science laboratories.

The web observatory is planned to be a worldwide grid hosting datasets relevant to web science research. IIIT-B will host the first such node of the grid in India which will be managed by the Web Sciences Lab.

Similar web observatories exist in European, Southeast Asian and American universities.

 Article from the Deccan Herald


How to get involved with the Web Observatory

The essence of taking part in the Web Observatory is three-fold:

  1. Describe some/all of your web datasets, projects, and/or tools in metadata
  2. Maintain a service to notify other systems/crawlers of the metadata
  3. Participate in ongoing discussions to continue to advance the scope and quality of the Web Observatory eco-system

The sharing can be done in a number of ways:

  • Share datasets indirectly with other Web Observatories
  • Download/install existing Web Observatory software
  • Extended your existing system to add Observatory features

Share datasets with other Web Observatories

Sharing an existing dataset is easy using the recently accepted extension in which a small amount of markup is added to the pages containing links to the datasets you are sharing allowing standard search engines to discover them. Alternatively you can list your dataset on our portal (you must create an account to do this).

Click here and also here to find out more about the WO extension

Download/install existing WO software

Members of the Web Science Trust network of Labs (WSTnet) will be offering a number of open source Web Observatory platforms and tool for download. The first available Web Observatory system is available from University of Southampton so please click here to register your name/contact details to be contacted about a Web Observatory installation for your organisation.

Extended your existing system to add Observatory features

We anticipate that some organisations will want to integrate their existing system to publish and consume data from the Web Observatory eco-system. WST will be publishing papers and technical guidance over the coming months. Please click here to register your name/contact details to be contacted about a Web Observatory integration for your organisation.

We look forward to welcoming you to this exciting project. Proposal for Observatory discovery

One of the key objectives of the Web Observatory will be to enable the discovery and sharing of data sets and tools with other Observatories and we are indebted to Prof Jim Hendler’s group at RPI for their work in developing a extension designed to enable this important feature.

The main wiki entry for the proposal is:
and the Web Observatory Schema is at

For those unfamiliar with there is an introduction available from the Cetis website

Web Observatory Sponsors – Infosys

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