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Posts Tagged ‘RDF’

What is Linked Data?

I wrote an introductory blog entitled “What is Linked Data?” over at the newly revamped data.gov.uk. You can read it here.

The Guardian Open Platform and Data Store

March 10, 2009 1 comment

Today the Guardian launched their Open Platform. According to their website “The Open Platform is the suite of services that make it possible for our partners to build applications with the Guardian.” The Open Platform contains two products: The Content API and the Data Store. The content API provides a REST (-ish apparently) mechanism to query a vast amount of documents and content from the Guardian. The Data Store is “a collection of important and high quality data sets curated by Guardian journalists”. This is all very cool!

Currently the Data Store provides a large number of datasets on subjects as diverse as military spending, carbon emissions and university rankings. Currently the data is provided as spreadsheets that have been uploaded to Google Docs allowing easy access. Again all very cool.

This work will obviously result in a lot of cool applications and mash-ups. However, the semantic web geek in me can’t help this that mash-ups are so last week :) It seems obvious (?) that the next step for the Guardian Data Store is to provide the data in RDF and host it in as linked data. These datasets would be a fantastic addition to the linked data web, allowing mesh-ups where the data from various linked data sources can be fused in different ways.

Time to convince the Guardian that this is the next logical step for this, already great, piece of work.

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Web 3.0 and Social Networks

January 25, 2009 7 comments
Icon for the FOAF (Friend of a Friend) project...
Image via Wikipedia

It is probably fair to say that FOAF is where the social web meets the semantic web. FOAF, which has been around for a while now, basically creates a machine readable graph of the sort of information you might include on sites like facebook, myspace etc. Your FOAF file can include links to people you know, your interests and other personal information. It is probably also fair to say that FOAF files were, until now, the sole property of the geek. However, this has changed, and a number of social networking sites such as livejournal, identi.ca and friend feed build FOAF files from your profile information (are there others?). At least now you don’t need to know how to edit RDF in order to have your own FOAF file. Despite that, these profiles are limited by the features offered on the respective sites.

Recently though QDOS launched a new service that makes FOAF profiles extremely easy to build. This service allows uses to create a FOAF profile generated from information contained in your last.fm, livejournal and flickr profiles as well as importing existing FOAF files. You are then given the option to manually enter other information. Furthmore, you can create a public and private view of your FOAF file. I would not recommend including information like your address, phone number or date of birth in a public FOAF file.  So what are you waiting for – go building yourself a FOAF file and join the linked data web.  My FOAF profile can be found here (my original one is maintained here).

For any linked data geeks one other interesting thing about the QDOS FOAF builder is that it has started linking music data from last.fm to the new music linked data service from the BBC. Hopefully this will be just the beginning and we’ll see links to other linked data services from DBpedia, geonames and Ordnance Survey.

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