Not just collections

May 21, 2011 in SessionIdeas

It seems that a lot of the LOD-LAM discussion and activity so far has centered on collections — the stuff sitting in collection management systems and databases. This is of course a natural starting point, but it might be good to consider what else there is that would benefit from LOD treatment. In particular, I’m interested in thinking about what we can do with the large amounts of contextual and interpretative material that LAMs produce — online exhibitions, finding aids, fact sheets, publications, encyclopedias, indexes, photo galleries and more. These sorts of things are packed with unstructured data — people, places, events and of course links to the collection dbs. By extracting and exposing these structures and linking into local authority systems and the LOD cloud we could create rich structures for discovery and understanding.

And then there’s material in the cloud — Flickr and elsewhere — as well as the work of our users, captured in blog posts or Zotero libraries. How might we start to develop a set of tools and practices that encourage semantic links across the wider LAM ecosystem?

4 responses to Not just collections

  1. There’s some useful discussion of this topic coming out of ELAG 2011. See Your Website is your API – How to integrate your Library into the Web of Data using RDFa.

  2. I love this topic! Yes, there’s tons of unstructured data out there and in addition to surfacing it and making it useful, it would be great to give it back to the org and find ways to further help them get more info about their collections and content online.

  3. Re: Finding aids, that’s a case I’m particularly interested in, since for archives that’s probably the best data source. Finding aids are *theoretically* structured, but of course have a lot of unstructured elements in practice.

    One thing I’m interested in is improving that standard to encourage more flexible data reuse – at least in new finding aids, if not in legacy ones. It could be especially useful for organizations without legacy finding aids.

  4. I’m in.
    Please take a look at the links below:

    http://blog.magnes.org/opensourceblog/?p=1324
    and
    http://bit.ly/jz0Jdd

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