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Re: Owning URIs (Was: Yet Another LOD cloud browser)

From: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Date: Tue, 02 Jun 2009 07:29:06 -0400
Message-ID: <4A250D02.3090808@openlinksw.com>
To: Daniel Schwabe <dschwabe@inf.puc-rio.br>
CC: Sherman Monroe <sdmonroe@gmail.com>, Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>, David Huynh <dfhuynh@alum.mit.edu>, Linked Data community <public-lod@w3.org>, semantic-web@w3.org
Daniel Schwabe wrote:
> Sherman,
> as another alternative, I urge you to take a look at Explorator [1] 
> (there is a short movie explaining the basic idea, you can also play 
> with the live interface), which can do all of what you said, and more.
> It provides a more general exploration paradigm, of which the example 
> you give below is only one of the possibilities...
> Best
> Daniel
> [1] http://www.tecweb.inf.puc-rio.br/explorator.

When you speak to the <http://lod.openlinksw.com> instance, do you use 
SPARQL Protocol or the Faceted Browsing REST API or either depending on 
task ?

I suspect SPARQL protocol,  but please confirm.

> Sherman Monroe wrote:
>> Dan,
>> ...
>> As for pivoting and set-based browsing in general, it's a very novel 
>> paridigm that requires more study, espeically user-oriented studies. 
>> It's easy to mis-apply old methods to this new UI approach, for 
>> example, how Parallax creates a 1-dimensional (i.e. 2-directional) 
>> breadcrumb trail. This is borrowed from WWW browsing, where the only 
>> directions from the "subject" (i.e. web page loaded) is back and 
>> forward. But in a linked database, the number of directions from a 
>> subject is equal to the number of possible types of the links from 
>> that subject to its objects. So it's a truly n-dimensional 
>> hyperspace. Thus, the 2D-breadcrumbs trail, while helpful, does not 
>> truly orient user's current position in the database. Here is my 
>> attempt to describe how navigating the linked dataspace would feel in 
>> real life, to better bring out the point. Image a linked database as 
>> a building, and each room contains a set of one or more resources 
>> matching a SPARQL criteria, and along the walls of the room are 
>> portals leading to other rooms, where each portal represents an RDF 
>> property those resources share. Now say I'm browsing a social network 
>> database, and I'm in DanBrickley's room, and I open and enter his 
>> *foaf:knows* portal. Now I am in /DanBrickley >> foaf:knows/ portal. 
>> The portals in here represent all the properties shared by all the 
>> folks Dan knows. Where can I go? I can go back through the 
>> DanBrickley portal, or through one of the property portals. Now here 
>> is the magic introduced by the structured XML SPARQL query. Suppose 
>> that from here, I want to enter the *foaf:interest* portal. In there, 
>> I see /semantic web/. Now I kick out all the other resources in this 
>> room, so that only semantic web remains. If I go back into the 
>> *foaf:interest* portal through which I came, I now find this list of 
>> friends is narrowed to just those whose interest is semantic web. The 
>> abilty to manipulate a room and have it affect the state of all other 
>> rooms in my breadcrumbs, is something you can't currently do with 
>> Parallax, because of it's 2D navigational path (David or anyone, I 
>> make this statement after having tried witht he interface myself, the 
>> browse all>> link on properties is the cloest thing I found). Now 
>> from this room (the /friends whose interest is semantic web/ room), I 
>> now go through the *foaf:currentProject* portal. I have now forked my 
>> criteria (an ability that was in Piggybank/Longwell, but missing from 
>> Parallax for some reason). Here I find the /Umbel Project/. Because 
>> each resource also acts like a portal (thanks to resource dereference 
>> :), I enter the /Umbel Portal/, and now I'm in a new room inside a 
>> totally new building containing rooms specialized around technology 
>> projects (a building represents a SPARQL endpoint, linked database 
>> source, an RDF graph, etc). So the portals can lead into/out of any 
>> building imaginable. Parallax only allows for navigating inside one 
>> building, i.e. Freebase, a second short coming.
>> Not to pick on Parallax at all, it's outstanding work that must 
>> continue to be pushed and improved, so I'm just here to whet the 
>> concepts it introduces. I have found the above visualazation of the 
>> linked database helpful in my work with linked data browsers, most 
>> recently razorbase. I've toyed with the notion of a 3D linked data 
>> browser along these principles, but don't know if that could actually 
>> be more useful than simple tables for large audiences.



Kingsley Idehen	      Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen
President & CEO 
OpenLink Software     Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
Received on Tuesday, 2 June 2009 11:29:48 UTC

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