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Re: GEDCOM to JSON-LD: Request for Feedback

From: Dave Longley <dlongley@digitalbazaar.com>
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 2015 10:03:10 -0400
Message-ID: <5538FB9E.5000605@digitalbazaar.com>
To: "todd.d.robbins@gmail.com" <todd.d.robbins@gmail.com>, public-linked-json@w3.org
On 04/22/2015 12:36 PM, todd.d.robbins@gmail.com wrote:
> Hello all,
>
> I'm new to the list but would love your feedback on our effort to 
> convert and serialize GEDCOM data [1] as JSON-LD. Take a look at our 
> research notes and source code here:
>
> https://github.com/earlysaints/database/blob/master/gedcom2jsonld.md
>
> We're particularly interested in approaches to representing content 
> and nested nodes. This is the beginning of our effort, but we wanted 
> to get the larger community involved now to get a better sense of the 
> challenges other groups have faced when fitting certain data models 
> into JSON-LD.

I likely won't have much time to review the document above, but I will 
make a recommendation:

Don't keep any allegiance to however the data was previously modeled. 
Model it in a proper Linked Data fashion moving forward and create a 
tool that can perform whatever mappings are necessary. It's not going to 
be worth your time if you just try to take the existing GEDCOM data 
model and port it to JSON-LD. I think that would be a mistake because:

1. I don't know what's to gain by keeping it, a simpler converter tool? 
You have to write a tool anyway, so focus on creating good output, not 
the complexity of the tool. If you need to, in the interim, write a tool 
that converts back to GEDCOM for legacy applications.

2. It will inhibit your ability to move quickly.

3. It may result in something unnatural to people familiar with Linked 
Data -- and make them shy away from it.

4. You have a one time opportunity to make improvements and fix data 
modeling issues from the past. It's not like you're taking legacy JSON 
and just adding an LD layer -- you're switching the format entirely.

5. The more natural it feels as Linked Data, and the more you reuse 
existing vocabularies (eg: schema.org) where appropriate, the more 
adoption you'll see -- and the more innovation on top of it! This can be 
exciting change that opens many doors to accessing and improving 
genealogical data, or it can be "GEDCOM as JSON-LD".

I recommend you talk to 23andme and see if they'd be interested in a new 
JSON-LD format for genealogical data, and what it might mean for Linked 
Data (or Big Data) on the Web and their research.

-- 
Dave Longley
CTO
Digital Bazaar, Inc.
http://digitalbazaar.com
Received on Thursday, 23 April 2015 14:03:32 UTC

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