Questions about the Chaos


Diane encouraged us to post questions here for Jon about his lecture.

I’m curious about the distinction between the Semantic Web and the Linked Open Data Web. I was just getting my mind around having 2 webs, not 3! I know that linked data aren’t necessarily open and open data aren’t necessarily linked….why doesn’t it matter if thinking machines can’t figure out the linking on this third web?

Also, I was wondering about the appearance of a person’s name as a Spanish label for Daytona Beach. This mistake got fixed when DBpedia was refreshed. If we were dealing with an error like this with linked library data, would a human being who noticed it be able to fix it?



One Response to “Questions about the Chaos”

  1. Jon Says:

    The whole idea behind Linked Data is that it’s just a subset of the Semantic Web, not requiring the creation of the ‘languages’ that convey the ‘semantic’ portion of the Global Web of Data, but adhering to just a few rules:
    1. Use URIs as names for things
    2. Use HTTP URIs so that people can look up those names.
    3. When someone looks up a URI, provide useful information, using the standards (RDF, SPARQL)
    4. Include links to other URIs. so that they can discover more things.

    It emphasizes the interoperable distribution of data, on the Internet, using HTTP as the access protocol. Thinking machines still need the semantics in order to ‘understand’ the data, but if they don’t have to think about it or understand it, then the fact that it’s openly available, and conforms to the basic rules above ensures a useful level of interoperability — you don’t necessarily need to understand it to put it to some use. Understanding can come later.

    As for your second question, it depends on the source of the data. In the Dbpedia case, errors creep in from Wikipedia and are corrected in Wikipedia which is open enough to be considered essentially self-correcting. I don’t know of any library systems at the moment that provide this same level of openness.

    Further reading…

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