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Re: Library of Congress Subject Headings as SKOS Linked Data

From: Rob Styles <rob.styles@talis.com>
Date: Mon, 9 Jun 2008 17:19:27 +0100
Cc: "SWD Working SWD" <public-swd-wg@w3.org>, public-lod@w3.org
Message-Id: <C2B2D2CA-71E9-4626-823A-4D42BC665442@talis.com>
To: "Ed Summers" <ehs@pobox.com>

Hey Ed,

Great work - very important, useful and nicely done.

Couple of quick questions, one for you - if I do

	curl -H Accept:application/rdf+xml http://lcsh.info/sh95000541#concept

I get the RDF straight back, this has a header of Content-location: http://lcsh.info/sh95000541.rdf 
  in there, so I can tell its URI, but I had expected a 303 See Other  
- Is there a reason for doing it your way (other than it's loads less  
load and traffic). I hadn't seen that way before and like it, is it  
discussed somewhere you could point me at?

Second is a wider question I suspect for the group. In the HTML  
version you return links to broader and narrower terms:

<b>Broader Terms:</b>
<a rel="skos:broader" href="sh88002671#concept">Hypertext systems</a>,
<a rel="skos:broader" href="sh92002381#concept">Multimedia systems</a>,
<br /><br />

These links are to the concept URIs, but I've been wondering if, in a  
HTML document, they should be links to the HTML directly. There are  
many pros and cons of both approaches that I can think of and I  
haven't come to any conclusion either way. What do you think?


On 9 Jun 2008, at 14:54, Ed Summers wrote:

> I'd like to announce an experimental linked-data, SKOS representation
> of the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) [1] ... and also
> ask for some help.
> The Library of Congress has been participating in the W3C Semantic Web
> Deployment Working Group, and has converted LCSH from the MARC21 data
> format [2] to SKOS. LCSH is a controlled vocabulary used to index
> materials that have been added to the collections at the Library of
> Congress. It has been in active development since 1898, and was first
> published in 1914 so that other libraries and bibliographic utilities
> could use and adapt it. The lcsh.info service makes 266,857 subject
> headings available as SKOS concepts, which amounts to 2,441,494
> triples that are separately downloadable [3] (since there isn't a
> SPARQL endpoint just yet).
> At the last SWDWG telecon some questions came up about the way
> concepts are identified, and made available via HTTP. Since we're
> hoping lcsh.info can serve as an implementation of SKOS for the W3C
> recommendation process we want to make sure we do this right. So I was
> hoping interested members of the linked-data and SKOS communities
> could take a look and make sure the implementation looks correct.
> Each concept is identified with a URI like:
>  http://lcsh.info/sh95000541#concept
> When responding to requests for concept URIs, the server content
> negotiates to determine which representation of the concept to return:
>  - application/xhtml+xml
>  - application/json
>  - text/n3
>  - application/rdf+xml
> This is basically the pattern that Cool URIs for the Semantic Web
> discusses as the Hash URI with Content Negotiation [4]. An additional
> point that is worth mentioning is that the XHTML representation
> includes RDFa, that also describes the concept.
> At the moment the LCSH/SKOS data is only linked to itself, through
> assertions that involve skos:broader, skos:narrower, and skos:related.
> But the hope is that minting URIs for LCSH will allow it to be mapped
> and/or linked to concepts in other vocabularies: dbpedia, geonames,
> etc.
> Any feedback, criticisms, ideas are welcome either on either the
> public-lod [5] or public-swd-wg [6] discussion lists.
> Thanks for reading this far!
> //Ed
> [1] http://lcsh.info
> [2] http://www.loc.gov/marc/
> [3] http://lcsh.info/static/lcsh.nt
> [4] http://www.w3.org/TR/cooluris/#hashuri
> [5] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-lod/
> [6] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-swd-wg/

Rob Styles
Programme Manager, Data Services, Talis
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Received on Monday, 9 June 2008 16:20:05 UTC

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