Linked Data – non-seller or game changer?Presentation for annual conference of German AG-Sammlungsmanagement (Oldenburg, 14-16 June 2018): http://ag-sammlungsmanagement.de/index.php/tagungen/tagung-2018
In April 2018, Daniel Pett (@DEJPett) started a quickly growing thread on Twitter about a survey of British Museum on improving their collections online.
As soon as he mentioned Linked Open Data (LOD), Richard Light (@RichardofSussex) jumped in, asking why so few (art) institutions were interested ‘in this stuff’.
It turned to something like a challenge when Richard referred to Axiell’s acquisitions of many software providers and wrote: ‘If they could provide out-of-the-box Linked Data support, it would be a game changer’. I accepted this challenge and am going to explain how Linked Data is integrated with Axiell’s collections management system Adlib.
„Fremdes in der Sammlung“, the main topic of this year‘s AG-Sammlungsmanagement conference, refers literally to the German term „Fremddatenübernahme“ – this is something Adlib supports since many years. Via a gateway on our server, we provide live access to SRU compatible API‘s of online library portals like Library of Congress, National German Library and many more.
For each portal, the business rules and metadata schema can be different: that‘s why we use the gateway in order to adjust it at any time when these rules, schemas – or even URL‘s – might change
It‘s a feature many of our customers like and do use because it saves them a lot of (dull) typing time.
Not only the catalogue data will be copied but also the URI of the source (not visible in the screenshot on this slide).
Something we improved most recently is live integration with online authorities like GND („Gemeinsame Normdatei“ of German National Library. We noticed that a growing group of customers (obviously mostly from German speaking countries) asks for GND support. However, we wish it would be more in order to justify the development costs that are involved to extend our gateways with other sources like Wikidata & Co.
Entering a term into a linked field that doesn’t exist within the linked thesaurus or person database (“Eigener Thesaurus”) will let you can choose from a list of multiple external resources (this needs to be configured in your database setup using Adlib Designer).
When you’ve found the appropriate term in one of those resources and select it, it will be copied into your local authority database (incl. URI and other metadata, depending on the mapping you did in the configuration for the corresponding source).
This functionality also uses the gateway - while in the past, we harvested several authority databases like AAT or ICONCLASS and merged them into one database on our gateway server, we now changed this method for GND and search/retrieve data on the fly. This saves us regular updates of the database and is actually pretty fast because the requests to the GND API can be configured in such a way that you get a good mix of precision and recall.
Enriching your vocabularies with URI‘s pays off twice: it helps to distinguish between terms with the same name or label – and it’s also used to display all metadata from the linked source on a separate screen tab.
Alternatively, you could click on the URI and access the original web page in your browser.
Fun fact: if you compare the biographical data you will notice that the RDF data we retrieve for displaying it in Adlib is more complete than on the GND website (see screenshot snippet) ;-) The preview wasn’t available for a while after German National Library changed their website from HTTP to HTTPS. We are currently adjusting the functionality in such a way that we retrieve data also in this case via our gateway in order to circumvent the https-LOD problem: https://www.w3.org/blog/2016/05/https-and-the-semantic-weblinked-data (HT @hauschke for pointing out to this blog entry).
A good example for combining several Linked Open Data API’s (AKA ‘mashup’), even without enriching your own database, is provided by Geological Survey of Austria (GBA). In their Spatial Library Search you first specify the location name you are looking for, using GeoNames.org. The coordinates this source provides, are used to retrieve the names of all places around the specified place – with a diameter of 40 km if it’s out of Austria or of 6 km if within Austria.
Then it retrieves catalogue records within the Adlib database by searching with up to 300 of these place names both in the title and abstract fields. All matching place names will be plotted on the map provided by the esri map service – and ranked: if the corresponding record contains a keyword that is a equal to the GeoNames term (or one of it’s parents) it will become red, otherwise remain grey.
Clicking on one of the results brings you back to GBA’s web OPAC. Fun fact: the GBA developers never contacted us while creating this service which means that the documentation of the Adlib API http://api.adlibsoft.com/site must be pretty good More info at https://gisgba.geologie.ac.at/geonames/SpatialLibrarySearch.pdf
You can do it without – but it‘s more awesome if you do it with Linked Data! However: it‘s the customer who decides if Linked Data is a non-seller or game changer: just by using it.
If you are interested in Linked Open Data and especially the German „Gemeinsame Normadatei“, come to Frankfurt am Main in December 2018 and join the #GNDcon conference! www.dnb.de/gndcon
Linked Data – Ladenhüter oder 'Game changer'?
LINKED DATA – LADENHÜTER
ODER 'GAME CHANGER'?
9. Tagung der