RDF's challenge


"/RDF isn't natural --- and therefore is barely used --- by the average 
Web developer or data wrangler. CSV, by contrast, is. And you are going 
to need to win the hearts and minds of those folks for whatever approach 
is proposed/." -- Rufus Pollock (OKFN) [1][2].

RDF is actually natural.  Unfortunately, narratives around it have now 
created the illusion that its unnatural. We observe our world using 
patterns much closer to RDF (entity relationship graphs) than CSV (when 
used a mechanism for Tabular representation of entity relationships).

SPARQL enables one to expose RDF based data in a myriad of ways will 
also enabling easy to comprehend Linked Data utility (i.e., HTTP URI 
based super keys that specically resolve to documents that describe a 
URIs referent).

Following the Open Data meeting I stumbled across a CSV browser [3] 
developed by @JeniIT . I took a quick look and realized it could provide 
the foundation addressing some of the confusion around Open Data, RDF, 
and Linked Data. Thus, I had one of our interns simply tweak the CSV 
browser such that on receipt of SPARQL-FED protocol URLs that resolve to 
CSV formatted data you end up with a Linked Data browser.

The simple example above basically showcases how Linked Data aids data 
discovery using the Web's basic follow-your-nose exploration pattern by 
leveraging what CSV has to offer i.e., using a format that many (users 
and developers) are already familiar with as a bridge builder en route 
to showcasing the virtues of RDF, SPARQL, and Linked Data.


[1] http://www.w3.org/2013/04/odw/report -- Open Data Report.
[3] https://github.com/theodi/linked-csv-browser -- CSV Brower
[4] https://github.com/theodi/linked-csv-browser/pulls -- pull request 
that sniffs for HTTP URIs and then makes them live links
[5] http://bit.ly/18axeTP -- tweaked version of CSV browser showcasing 
effects of live links based on a SPARQL-FED URL (Ordnance Survey) that 
returns data in CSV format
[6] http://bit.ly/ZxSUnc -- ditto using data form health.data.gov.



Kingsley Idehen	
Founder & CEO
OpenLink Software
Company Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
Personal Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen
Twitter/Identi.ca handle: @kidehen
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Received on Tuesday, 11 June 2013 13:00:46 UTC