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Re: 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 15:30:11 +0200
Message-ID: <631221E3EBAB447792BEC5543FDCDFCA@ms>
To: "Richard Cyganiak" <richard@cyganiak.de>
Cc: <public-lod@w3.org>
Richard wrote:
> First, there are some datasets that combine linked data output with a 
> traditional website, e.g., by embedding some RDFa markup. Of course,  in 
> that case, all the rules of good web design and information  presentation 
> still apply, and the site has to first and foremost  fulfill the visitor's 
> information needs in order to be successful.  That's self-evident and not 
> what we are talking about here.

Indeed. But a typical web page is full of hyperlinks to external sites. In 
the case of pages based on RDFa, this will often mean linking to external 
linked data resources. Many normal web pages, such as blogs, contain several 
links to wikipedia.org. Many linked data resources contain links to 
dbpedia.org. RDFa uses the <a> HTML element to represent object properties, 
and I think there will be an increasing desire to create links to, say, 
DBpedia that are both useful for the human reader of the RDFa page, as well 
as for RDF-aware software. It would be very nice to just say

"... blahblah <a href="http://dbpedia.org/page/Primary_motor_cortex" 
rel="sioc:topic">Primary motor cortex</a> blahblah ..."

instead of both linking to Wikipedia for the human plus an added hidden link 
to DBpedia for the machine, like this:

" ... blahblah <a 
href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primary_motor_cortex">Primary motor 
cortex</a><a href="http://dbpedia.org/page/Primary_motor_cortex" 
rel="sioc:topic"></a> blahblah ..."

I think that with the increasing popularity of RDFa, linked data resources 
that have a good looking HTML representation will become more popular for 
re-use in RDF statements than those that do not have good looking HTML 
representations. In other words, the RDFa pages will gradually change the 
ecosystem for linked data resources, also impacting the resource providers 
that do not primarily intend to have their pages found via Google and Yahoo.

Hence, the fact that
> the "audience" for the human-readable versions of the  RDF data is *not* a 
> visitor that came to the site while googling for  some bit of information. 
> It's more likely to be a data analyst, mashup  developer, or integration 
> engineer.

might become less and less true.

Matthias Samwald

DERI Galway, Ireland

Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution & Cognition Research, Austria
Received on Tuesday, 15 September 2009 13:37:31 UTC

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