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From: John Goodwin <John.Goodwin@ordnancesurvey.co.uk>
Date: Tue, 12 May 2009 10:49:37 +0100
Message-ID: <D72AF46149B1D74FBC8CD7090ED2446BF5CEF4@EMAIL.ordsvy.gov.uk>
To: <public-lod@w3.org>, <semantic-web@w3.org>

I was just curious how many OWL sceptics we have in the LOD community? Rightly or wrongly I get the impression there are a few?

I've been integrating various LOD resource for a small demo at work and have come to the realisation than a bit of relatively simple OWL goes a long way in making the integration process more complete. Not that is was a great surprise really, but you soon realise that owl:sameAs only gets you so far. IMHO we really need to get OWL into the LOD mix for linking vocabularies/ontologies as well as data at the instance level. RDFS is not enough.

A few simple examples... Say I want to integrate freebase and Dbpedia - they both use there own ontologies/vocabularies/schema etc. Obviously I can do owl:sameAs between common instances, but this doesn't fully integrate the data in the way I would want. I was trying to do a little demo around events, places and bands and soon found that Dbpedia new about different bands from freebase. A simple query like "find me information on punk rock bands playing in venues in Southampton" was incomplete if I only used owl:sameAs. To get the full information I needed to link the Dbpedia and freebase ontologies using:

PunkRockGroups = music.musical_group and music.artist.genre value en.punk_rock  (Manchester OWL syntax).

This way a query for things rdf:type PunkRockGroups also selects the punk bands freebase knows about but Dbpedia doesn't...just doing owl:sameAs would merely get information about punk bands that freebase and Dbpedia share in common. 

Furthermore to link information about people born in Southampton from freebase and Dbpedia I has to used:

location.location.people_born_here owl:inverseOf dbpedia:birthplace

Again a query dbpedia:birthplace Southampton now finds me people freebase knows about as well as Dbpedia. 

Other simple examples of needing OWL with LOD are genealogy. I've started to convert my family tree into RDF, e.g.:


A bit of OWL e.g.:

Parent = foaf:Person and isParentOf some foaf:Person

isParentOf o isBrotherOf -> isUncleOf

Uncle = foaf:Person and isUncleOf some foaf:Person

Would save me writing long SPARQL queries for find instances of Parent, Uncle etc. 

I know this isn't rocket science, but really hope a few simple examples will start to convince OWL sceptics that OWL can really spice up [1] LOD.

Thoughts, comments, flamings :) welcome..


[1] as Kingley would say

Dr John Goodwin
Research Scientist, Research, Ordnance Survey 
C530, Romsey Road, SOUTHAMPTON, United Kingdom, SO16 4GU
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 www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk| john.goodwin@ordnancesurvey.co.uk 
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Received on Tuesday, 12 May 2009 09:50:14 UTC

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