Dr Nicholas J. Car

BEng (Elec), PhD
Adjunct Senior Lecturer
College of Engineering & Computer Science
T: 0477 560 177

Areas of expertise

  • Data Structures 080403
  • Web Technologies (Excl. Web Search) 080505
  • Interorganisational Information Systems And Web Services 080612

Research interests

  • Semantic Web
  • Linked Data
  • Graph data structures
  • Spatial data
  • Metrology Informatics 

Nicholas is most interested in the interation of tools and researgh in these areas: research leads to a requirement for new tools; new tools then lead on to opportunities for more research.

Nicholas maintains sevaral Open Source data science tools, such as Python's RDFlib, that are used to further research.


Nicholas is a former CSIRO research engineer who now mostly works in the proviate sector supplying Semantic Web-based products and consulting.

He is interested in improving the tools and theory behind Semantic Web and related areas of informatics and is actively engaged in company R&D, student supervision and standards development.

Nicholas currently holds standards committee or working group positions in the following international organisations:

  • ISO: International Organization for Stnadardization
  • OGC: Open Geospatial Consortium
  • W3C:  World Wide Web Consortium

He is also a member of the following Australian government-based data committees/Working Groups:

  • Australian Government Linked Data Working Group
  • IT-004 (Standards Australia)

Researcher's projects

Better web spatial data

(company-based research direction)

How can representations of spatial data be best presented in web data structures for use over the Internet?

  • extending the GeoSPARQL standard
  • better integrating spatial data into Knowledge Graphs

Available student projects

Improved reasoning capability in RDFlib

RDFlib is a Python library for manipulating RDF data. It has some reasoning options but I would like to see a strategy for incorporating more thought through and implemented.

Suitable for advanced undergraphuate (hounours) or masters IT/software engineering students.


Extending Knowledge Graph spatial functions to handle DGGS

Discrete Global Grid Systems (DGGS) offer new ways to represent and process spatial data that are simple to use and computationally efficient. I want to see standardised Knowledge Graph spatial functions extended to be able to use DGGS data.

Suitable for advanced undergraphuate (hounours) or masters IT/software engineering students.


Open Source Python project Type Hinting

The Python programming language has recently added "type hinting", that is the option to include inline code elements that indicate the suggested, or required, data types for variables.

This project would see a student implement type hinting across all of the elements of the RDFlib Python library. This will result in an easier to use and safer (from the data use point of view) library. The student will learn all about RDF and RDFlib.

Suitable for advanced undergraphuate (hounours) or masters IT/software engineering students.

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Updated:  09 May 2021 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers