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The recent article “Semantic Interoperability of Electronic Healthcare Info On The Agenda At U.S. Veterans Health Administration” describes how U.S. Veterans Health Administration physician informaticist Rafael Richards, when integrating multiple data sources at the VA, “uses TopQuadrant’s SPINMap to map one model to another using SPARQL Inferencing Notation (SPIN) and run automated RDF rules.”

Two of the key data sources are VistA (Veteran’s Information Systems and Technology Architectures), an electronic health records system that ties together thousands of health care sites and has been used by most U.S. physicians, and FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources), a standard for data exchange. Richards’ slides at the bottom of the article (also available on slideshare) include many TopBraid Composer screenshots showing how they modeled the VistA and FHIR information. Several other slides (26 – 32) provide greater detail on how they used SPIN and SPINMap.

In other SPINMap news, we’ve just published the tutorial Reshaping Relational Data using SPINMap. If you’re new to the SPINMap tool, the tutorial points to good resources to get started and then describes how SPINMap can make it easier for you to incorporate relational databases into semantic database integrations.

In the new tutorial, a series of six exercises build on each other using the sample HR database provided with Oracle’s relational database manager. The tutorial includes information on using the same data with MySQL and SQL Server, as well as a downloadable project containing all of the necessary data in case you want to skip the step of actually connecting to one of these database managers when you work through the exercises.

Getting different data models to work together is typically the most difficult part of a large database integration project, whether you’re integrating RDF, relational data, other formats, or a combination of these. We’re sure that you’ll find that SPINMap can make this much easier, just like the Veterans Administration did.