foaf's scope and extending it

I am working with a lot of data related to the U.S. legal system. One part
is biographical information on federal judges (example: I am confused about whether
FOAF is useful for expressing this data. My initial look into FOAF turned me
off because it seemed mostly geared toward social networking. However, I
haven't found anything more appropriate and I am trying not to reinvent the
wheel, as my main focus is on court documents not judge biographies.

1. Does anyone know of a use of FOAF for historical figures or other uses
outside of the typical social networking use?

2. My second approach was to use FOAF with some extentions to get closer to
what I needed, but I have had trouble finding a solid schema for marking up
biographical/resume-like info. Although some of these seem to exist (e.g.,
DOAC at, they look like they have been
updatedr gained much acceptance. Any suggestions?

3. If I wanted to add a single identifier, such as "race" (see below) to the
FOAF elements is it better to try to get FOAF to add it to their set or
would it be better to create a custom schema for that single element?

4. I used the bio vocabulary to allow the markup of specific birth and death
dates, but it would seem that <bio:place> element would be more useful if I
replaced that with a more specific geography-based vocabulary. Is it better
to always use the most robust or detailed rdf tags or is it better to limit
the amount of customization or mixing of different rdf schemas?

------Sample code below -------

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<rdf:RDF xmlns:rdf=""

<foaf:Person rdf:ID="charles-sherman-haight-jr">

   <foaf:name>Charles Sherman Haight, Jr.</foaf:name>

         <bio:place>New York, NY, USA</bio:place>

         <jud:court rdf:resource=""/>
         <jud:seat rdf:resource=""/>
         <jud:nominatedBy rdf:resource=""/>

         <doac:organization>Yale University</doac:organization>

         <doac:organization>Yale Law School</doac:organization>

         <title>trial attorney</title>
         <organization>U.S. Department of Justice</organization>

         <organization>private practice</organization>
         <place>New York, NY, USA</place>


Received on Tuesday, 19 December 2006 21:26:27 UTC