3 thoughts on “A Linked Data Journey: Proof of Concept

  1. Thanks for your post; I think it will be very helpful for people coming to grips with Linked Data. I want to respond to one point you make:

    The second challenge is that in order to pull in third party Linked Data, I had to familiarize myself with each source’s data model (ex. Dublin Core, MADS). Almost every source’s metadata that I linked to had its own model…

    I think it is useful to distinguish between data models and vocabularies. One of the nice things about Linked Data is that everyone is using the same data model: RDF. This makes it easy to combine data from different sources. But it is true that doing useful things with the combined data requires knowing something about, and mapping between, the various vocabularies, and familiarizing oneself with these can be a challenge. I agree that LibraryLand has more vocabularies than they need.

    • Hi Ryan. Thanks for your comment! I don’t think I communicated the quoted part very clearly. There’s a mesh of terminology in this case. I agree that RDF is the common denominator and is a data model. I also agree that Dublin Core, MADS, etc are vocabularies. However, there’s a third component: formal specification/documentation/commitment to using a combination of vocabularies for describing resources using RDF. For example, you can choose to use dc:title, schema:name, and dct:versionOf when describing a resource, which isn’t completely achievable with straight-up XML. In some institutions this specification/documentation/commitment is called a data model. For instance, look at DPLA and Europeana. They have clear documentation and commitment to a specific set of combined vocabularies to use in their systems. DPLA refers to this as their metadata model; Europeana refers to it as their data model. That’s what I was referring to when I said “data model”.

      Having messed with SPARQL, and in creating this Linked Data catalog record, I can say that you really do have to know a data provider’s “data model” (not the RDF data model) in order to successfully query their datasets. This can become quite compounded when you begin to query multiple data providers’ datasets, which is why I believe we, as a library community, will eventually need to commit to more standardization of “data models” in order for the Library Web of Data to work at high efficiency.

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