Open Data Structures with Neo4j

Open data are growing rapidly in the last years, spanning over several disciplines, from transportation to economics, from computer science to anthropology. Here we present the result of a project called “Open Data per la Cultura 2017“, where data from several calls, aiming in spreading culture, have been opened for an info-graphical contest. We propose an interpretation of the data called “Cultural Connected Paths” with Neo4j. Data and code to reproduce (and extend) the analysis are available at Github.

Dataset Description

The contest organizers shared nine datasets about four different calls for projects related to culture purposes in Italy in the last years. Data comprehend actors submitting projects related to specific topics.

Data Modeling

Since we wanted to find out connection patterns, we import the data from the original sources into Neo4j according to the following model:


Actors work in particular geographical regions in Italy, and they submit several projects within calls, in order to get public founding. We highlight nodes and edges in order to reveal connection patterns later on in the analyses.


We select a subset of topics to investigate, in particular everything related to Migrations, Teaching and Education, looking for cultural patterns that might be discovered in the datasets.

The full dataset (exported in Gephi from Neo4j), reveals interesting patterns: calls about Migrants, Education and Teaching shape three distinct structures connected by Geographical bridges, joining Actors who work in the same Region and Projects that talk about the same Topic.

Liguria and Lombardia Regions connect the network of Actors who Submit cultural Projects about Migrants, Education and Teaching. The virtual connection corresponds to the natural cultural path towards a full knowledge and awareness of migrants phenomena. You can find the full contest proposal here.


In the era of (big) data, 99% of the time you’re interested in manage the connections within and among them. When you have to discovered some patterns within sparse data, or just interpretate some information you’re interested at, Neo4j helps you to manage, query and visualize information. In this post we present some data collection and analysis that, in some simple steps, let you easily query your database looking for your needs.

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