My second session on Thursday at OLA 2011 was on the topic of Linked Data. Since RDA (the replacement for AACR2 – the cataloguing rules currently in place in libraries) has already found a place in the Linked Data world (http://metadataregistry.org/), I was particularly interested in an overview of where Linked Data is today.
The important web site for Linked Data, http://linkeddata.org/, provides a definition: “Linked Data is about using the Web to connect related data that wasn’t previously linked, or using the Web to lower the barriers to linking data currently linked using other methods.”
The Linked Open Data cloud diagram shows how different metadata communities are linked on the Web:
Although heavily populated by the scientific community, the library community is well represented with services such as VIAF (Virtual International Authority File, http://viaf.org/) and many new services from the Library of Congress for authorities and vocabularies (http://id.loc.gov/).
It’s best to think of Linked Data as a collection of best practices for exposing, sharing, and connecting pieces of data information and knowledge using URIs and RDF.
Linked Data is considered to be essentially the same as what has been called the Semantic Web (or “Web 3.0”). Linked Data is considered as the Semantic Web “done right.”
This slide show by Tim Berners-Lee (the creator of the World Wide Web) helps explain:
http://www.w3.org/2008/Talks/0617-lod-tbl/#(1) (use the arrow keys or click each screen to move forward to the next slide). Also, check out Tim Berners-Lee’s recorded talk at TED 2009: http://www.ted.com/talks/tim_berners_lee_on_the_next_web.html
Wikipedia on Linked Data: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linked_Data
The Pedantic Web Group: http://pedantic-web.org/