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Wikipedia says… “Linked Data describes a method of publishing structured data, so that it can be interlinked and become more useful. It builds upon standard web technologies, such as HTTP and URIs - but rather than using them to serve web pages for human readers, it extends them to share information in a way that can be read automatically by computers.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linked_Data
The inventor of the Web said… “I have a dream for the Web [in which computers] become capable of analyzing all the data on the Web – the content, links, and transactions between people and computers.” Tim Berners-Lee, 1999
What does Linked Data look like? “That is kind of like asking what electricity looks like: it doesn’t so much look like anything, as it makes certain things possible.” Karen Coyle Visualizing Linked Data http://kcoyle.blogspot.com/2011/04/visualizing-linked-data.html
What does Linked Data look like? http://openlibrary.org
Civil War Data 150 http://www.civilwardata150.net
Part II:What Could Linked Data Mean for Librarians?
Different workflows Catalogers could use URIs for things like authors’ names or subject headings. If information changed, the URI could be changed and automatically update the information in our catalogs.
Evaluating metadata Metadata could come from various sources. “Professional cataloging might be more of a job of aggregating and improving harvested or contributed metadata, rather than developing new metadata, like MARC records, for resources.” -Virginia Schilling “The Catalogers’ Revenge: Unleashing the Semantic Web” PNLA Quarterly 74:3, 2010 http://unllib.unl.edu/LPP/PNLA%20Quarterly/schilling74-3.pdf
New homes for librarians’ skills? “Someday there will be a Dewey Decimal number for everything – not just for books.” http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/206230/the_internet_needs_a_dewey_decimal_system.html
Training and Software Development “Nobody but the geekily inclined is going to be willing to invest the time and effort necessary to code semantically tagged web pages from scratch.” Virginia Schilling “The Catalogers’ Revenge: Unleashing the Semantic Web.” PNLA Quarterly 74:3 (Spring 2010).
Access to the Data Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/webwizzard/3931165612/
Different Standards and Vocabularies http://www.dlib.indiana.edu/~jenlrile/metadatamap/
Reliability of Data Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/katiew/320161805
5 Stars of Open Linked Data ★Available on the web (whatever format), but with an open license ★★Available as machine-readable structured data (e.g. Excel instead of image scan of a table) ★★★Availableas (2) plus non-proprietary format (e.g. CSV instead of Excel) ★★★★All the above plus, Use open standards from W3C (RDF and SPARQL) to identify things, so that people can point at your stuff ★★★★★All the above, plus: Link your data to other people’s data to provide context http://www.w3.org/DesignIssues/LinkedData.html
Laura Smart, California Institute of Technology Managing Metadata http://library.caltech.edu/laura/
Resources Jeffrey T. Pollock. Semantic Web for Dummies. Toby Segaran, Colin Evans, and Jamie Taylor. Programming the Semantic Web. Tom Heath and Christian Bizer. Linked Data: Evolving the Web into a Global Data Space. Karen Coyle. “Understanding the Semantic Web: Bibliographic Data and Metadata” and “RDA Vocabularies for a Twenty-First-Century Data Environment.” Library Technology Reports, ALA TechSource.
Linked Data is on the horizon. And it has the potential to greatly change how libraries work. Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/quinet/52740846/sizes/z/