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Re: Terminology when talking about Linked Data

From: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 13:37:56 +0100
Message-ID: <eb19f3361002170437m2325106dqd42cc0a1145973bd@mail.gmail.com>
To: Damian Steer <d.steer@bristol.ac.uk>
Cc: Hugh Glaser <hg@ecs.soton.ac.uk>, "public-lod@w3.org" <public-lod@w3.org>
On Wed, Feb 17, 2010 at 12:51 PM, Damian Steer <d.steer@bristol.ac.uk> wrote:
> Historical aside:
> On 17/02/10 11:20, Hugh Glaser wrote:
>> More recently I have also badged as Web of Data;
> See [1], since 1998 :-) It's been used fairly regularly since then, although
> I'd highlight [2] as a particularly significant use of the term.
> Damian
> [1] <http://www.w3.org/DesignIssues/Semantic.html>
> [2] <http://www.plasticbag.org/archives/2006/02/my_future_of_web_apps_slides/>

Yes, any use of the phrase "Web of data" that excludes or sidelines
work like Tom Coates' here ([2]) would be ... regrettable. There have
already been unfortuate run-ins in blog land about whether you can do
'linked data' without using RDF in some LOD-approved manner. There is
much much more to 'data' than RDF (or OWL, or triples, or W3C SemWeb).
The Web's a big place and we have to be inclusive. RDF was originally
standardised as a metadata system, a mechanism for finding stuff ...
whether that stuff was photos, videos, HTML pages, excel spreadsheets,
SQL databases, 3d models. It can also be used to provide summaries or
normalisation of some of the information held in those data objects
too. But we shouldn't forget the original use case, nor sideline it.
Metadata about non-RDF documents is still linked data imho: all of
those forms of Web information are 'linked data' if we use W3C
information-linking technology to increase their findability. There's
more information out there than fits comfortably in triples or quads;
some of the best information is still in people's heads, after all.
FOAF was always blurbed as an "experimental linked information
system"; we should have been clearer that some of that info was in
triples, some in human-oriented documents, and some ... critically ...
was still in people's heads. The richness comes from the interplay
between those three forms of information. But I guess that's why I
still cling nostalgically to the word 'information' here, rather than
just 'data'.

BTW an early and important paper in the 'web of data' line, which
tried to bring RDF and XML together as components of a larger
('Semantic Web') story is http://www.w3.org/1999/04/WebData  ... it
doesn't use the phrase explicitly (except in the url path maybe) but
it is clear on the need for an inclusive approach.


Received on Wednesday, 17 February 2010 12:38:30 UTC

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