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Making human-friendly linked data pages more human-friendly (was: dbpedia not very visible, nor fun)

From: Matthias Samwald <samwald@gmx.at>
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 2009 11:08:46 +0200
Message-ID: <8185B4BEFC4B46BF8683E5F3FA3DC92B@ms>
To: <public-lod@w3.org>
A central idea of linked data is, in my understanding, that every resource 
has not only a HTTP - resolvable RDF description of itself, but also a 
human-friendly rendering that can be viewed in a web browser. With the 
increasing popularity of RDFa, the URIs of these resources are not only 
hidden away in triplestores, but become increasingly exposed on web pages. 
People want to click on them, and, hopefully, not all of these people come 
from the core community of RDF enthusiasts.

This means that the HTML rendering of linked data resources might need to 
look a bit sexier than it does today. I dare to say that the Pubby-esque 
rendering of DBpedia pages such as
is helpful to get a quick overview of the RDF triples about this resource, 
but non-RDF-enthusiasts would not find it very inviting.

This could be improved by changes in the layout, and possibly a manually 
curated ordering of properties. For example,
definitely looks more inviting than the typical DBpedia page (albeit still a 
bit sterile).

In the case of DBpedia, it might be better to expose the excellent 
human-readable Wikipedia page for each resource, plus a prominently 
positioned 'show raw data' tab at the top. For other linked data resources 
that are not derived from existing human-friendly web pages, a few stylistic 
changes (ala OpenCalais) already might improve the situation a lot.

Note that this comment is not intended to be a criticism of DBpedia, but of 
all Linked Data resources that expose HTML descriptions of resources. 
DBpedia is just the most popular example.

Matthias Samwald

DERI Galway, Ireland

Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution & Cognition Research, Austria

From: "Danny Ayers" <danny.ayers@gmail.com>
Sent: Tuesday, September 15, 2009 4:03 AM
To: <public-lod@w3.org>
Subject: dbpedia not very visible, nor fun

> It seems I have a Wikipedia page in my name (ok, I only did fact-check
> edits, ok!?). So tonight I went looking for the corresponding triples,
> looking for my ultimate URI...
> Google "dbpedia" => front page, with news
> on the list on the left is "Online Access"
> what do you get?
> [[
> The DBpedia data set can be accessed online via a SPARQL query
> endpoint and as Linked Data.
> Contents
> 1. Querying DBpedia
> 1.1. Public SPARQL Endpoint
> 1.2. Public Faceted Web Service Interface
> 1.3. Example queries displayed with the Berlin SNORQL query explorer
> 1.4. Examples rendering DBpedia Data with Google Map
> 1.5. Example displaying DBpedia Data with Exhibit
> 1.6. Example displaying DBpedia Data with gFacet
> 2. Linked Data
> 2.1. Background
> 2.2. The DBpedia Linked Data Interface
> 2.3. Sample Resources
> 2.4. Sample Views of 2 Sample DBpedia Resources
> 3. Semantic Web Crawling Sitemap
> ]]
> Yeah. Unless you're a triplehead none of these will mean a thing. Even
> then it's not obvious.
> Could someone please stick something more rewarding near the top! I
> don't know, maybe a Google-esque text entry form field for a regex on
> the SPARQL. Anything but blurb.
> Even being relatively familiar with the tech, I still haven't a clue
> how to take my little query (do I have a URI here?) forward.
> Presentation please.
> Cheers,
> Danny.
> -- 
> http://danny.ayers.name 
Received on Tuesday, 15 September 2009 09:09:31 UTC

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