A HEEL Case Study, Introducing Linked Data for Reliable Information Exchange.

The water industry, like many others, is in a constant race against time and resources. Every project relies on data, and this data needs to be both accurate and easily accessible. Traditionally, data in this industry has been stored within cumbersome XML and Excel formats, causing inefficiencies, redundancies, and hindering project momentum. To address this issue, Semmtech collaborated with HEEL, a Flood Protection Program (HWBP, in Dutch) initiative to facilitate the exchange of information. Find out more about Semmtech’s role in this collaboration below.

Facilitating Information Reuse and HEEL’s ‘BSD’

Like in other industries, projects within the Water Industry can be facilitated through the reuse of good-quality information. To save companies time, HEEL introduced the “Basis Specifications Dijk” (BSD), a comprehensive standard for dikes and embankments that could serve as a starting point across all project design phases. However, as beneficial as the BSD proved to be, its convenience was still limited due to it being exclusively available within XML and Excel formats. Companies who wish to use these specifications often face the task of manually copying, pasting, or importing the data from the documents into their project-specific tools. To help, Semmtech sought to transform BSD into a Linked Data Library.

By converting the BSD into a Laces Library published as Linked Data, Semmtech made it possible for various users to directly query the BSD and use it in their projects or share it with their stakeholders. This way, project teams can receive the relevant basic specifications for any particular system object, all through software. Moreover, as an Open Standard, Linked Data allows any suitable Systems Engineering (SE) tool from a water board to use the information model for its projects.

Basis Specifications Dijk" (BSD) in the Laces Standards Manager.

Image 1: Basis Specifications Dijk” (BSD) in the Laces Standards Manager.

Contributing to Information Exchange

The exchange of information between companies in a supply chain requires an agreement on how that information should look. Commonly, this is called an Information Delivery Specification – IDS in short. In an ecosystem where numerous entities are constantly exchanging data, IDS acts as the standard-bearer. Part of any IDS is a description of properties of asset types in a Reference Data Library (RDL, OTL in Dutch). To assist in HEEL’s mission to facilitate a new way of accessing and exchanging information for water professionals, Semmtech converted the object types of HEEL for SE into a Linked Data Reference Data Library.

HEEL Object Decomposition in the Laces Ontology Manager.

Image 2: HEEL Object Decomposition in the Laces Ontology Manager.

The implications of Semmtech’s collaboration in this project are manifold. For water authorities, projects can now begin on a foundation of robust, reliable, and easily accessible data. The use of Linked Data minimizes the risk of redundancies and inefficiencies, ultimately saving time. Furthermore, due to the Open Standard format, companies can use the data on various software. In addition, project specifications can be easily exchanged by entities in the water management industry through the HEEL Linked Data RDL.


The partnership between Semmtech and HEEL is symbolic of what can be achieved when domain expertise meets technological innovation. As we stand at the cusp of a new era in water management, the role of technology cannot be understated. With advancements like AI, machine learning, and real-time analytics on the horizon, the future looks promising. The collaboration between these two entities sets the stage for a future where data-driven insights guide sustainable and efficient water management.

Never miss out on any Semmtech updates!