Digging into Money

May 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

er… Data.  The LOD-LAM Summit will be a great place to explore ideas and collaborations, but we’ll also be looking at concrete and actionable ways to move this field forward in the year to come.  I can’t think of a better venue for teams to form up or solidify plans for the International Digging Into Data Challenge, and I’m hoping there will be some strong Linked Data applicants this year.  If you’re not already working on something, bring your project ideas in search of partners.   Of course, there’s a pretty quick turn around time for getting proposals in by June 16th, but hey, what’s summer without cramming for at least one grant proposal?

Smithsonian and Powerhouse doing some linking up

May 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

Great news to hear that Luke Dearnley, web manager at the Powerhouse Museum (Sydney, Australia), has been invited to join the LOD-LAM summit! Luke, and Dan Collins (IT Manager, Powerhouse Museum)

From left, Luke, Dan Collins (IT Manager, Powerhouse Museum), Suzanne Pilsk (Smithsonian Libraries), Günter Waibel (Smithsonian, Office of the Chief Information Officer), Thorny Staples (Smithsonian, Office of the Chief Information Officer), Thorny Staples. As usual, I'm reflected in the window taking the picture!

Smithsonian and Powerhouse staff link up

visited the Smithsonian on their way home from Museums and the Web. We had a great conversation around a lot of topics and I’m really exicted that the convesation can continue with Luke in San Francisco.

From left, Luke, Dan Collins (IT Manager, Powerhouse Museum), Suzanne Pilsk (Smithsonian Libraries), Günter Waibel (Smithsonian, Office of the Chief Information Officer), Thorny Staples (Smithsonian, Office of the Chief Information Officer), Thorny Staples. As usual, I’m reflected in the window taking the picture!

LODLAM Reading Lists

April 25, 2011 in resources

We’ve got a wide variety of participants coming to the LOD-LAM Summit, so suggesting a reading list is kind of tough. Keep in mind that participants range from technology staff, policy makers, developers, librarians, digital humanists, hackers and everywhere in between. I’m going to throw out some of my favorite books and articles, but please add more in the comments as this is by no means exhaustive. And if a lot of these names look familiar, it’s because you’ve seen them on the participant list for the Summit.

Open Bibliographic Data Guide. This guide from JISC focuses more on open rather than linked data, but it’s a critical first step toward Linked Open Data.

Linked Data primers (books)
Programming the Semantic Web, Toby Segaran, Colin Evans, & Jamie Taylor. 2009. Great primer on graphs and plenty of example code.

Linked Data: Evolving the Web into a Global Data Space, Tom Heath and Christian Bizer. 2011. This is a great book, recently released, that provides a concise and in depth exploration into Linked Data, from conceptual overview to recipes for publishing data.

Licensing and Copyright
Rights and Licensing from JISC Open Bibliographic Data Guide. Recommendations for publishing Open Data for Libraries.

Digital Cultural Collections in an Age of Reuse and Remixing, Kristin R. Eschenfelder and Michelle Caswell. Nov. 2010. This study examines the various views and considerations of cultural institutions in allowing reuse of digital cultural works. It’s based on a 2008 survey that is, in my opinion, just at the turning point of a rather radical cultural shift in opening metadata for reuse and sharing.

Recommendations for independent scholarly publication of data sets, Jonathan Rees. March 2010. These recommendations come from the perspective of the sciences but can equally be applied to the humanities, and embodies the shift toward sharing data for future use and portability.

I’m sure there are more articles to add to this list and please feel free to do so in the comments.

Smithsonian Information, Smithsonian linked open data?

April 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

2011.03.31-IMG_2045We’re continuing our discussions here at the Smithsonian about what we can do to  make our data accessible in a linked, open manner. The other day I had some discussions with the staff at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) about some possible projects that we can do that will have a short gestation time.

Looking forward to sharing more at the summit.

#lodlam teaser

April 10, 2011 in announcements

Just for the fun of it, I submitted a video postcard for Ignite Smithsonian, taking place 4/11/11. I was trying to capture the excitement of the emerging LODLAM community, in a 30 second spot.

“Do you remember
when libraries, archives, and museums
captured imaginations
by connecting information

and led the internet revolution?

It’s happening again.”

NEH joins Sloan Foundation in funding LOD-LAM Summit

April 1, 2011 in announcements

We’re excited to announce that the International Linked Open Data in Libraries Archives & Museums Summit has received a Digital Start-up Grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities Office of Digital Humanities.  NEH Funding will focus on US support of Linked Open Data in the humanities, specifically:

  • Institutional decision makers can gain a firm grasp on the techniques, technology and terminology of Linked Open Data.
  • Collaborative strategy will be developed to forward the adoption and promotion of Linked Open Data in the humanities in the United States.
  • Actionable steps and strategies for sharing, publishing and licensing structured data on the Web will be widely distributed and publicized.

The NEH joins the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in their generous support of the Summit.  The Sloan Foundation will support international participants and those from the sciences and humanities.  Sloan funding also enables us to continue outreach and forward momentum on LOD-LAM efforts during the year following the Summit, including meetings and panels at various industry and sector conferences globally.

The International Linked Open Data in Archives, Libraries, and Museums is the first gathering of its kind, and is being hosted by the Internet Archive in San Francisco, CA June 2-3, 2011.

Room & Ride Sharing

March 30, 2011 in logistics

While we’re still a ways out, people are wisely planning their travel. I’ve gotten some questions from folks interested in potential room/ride sharing. Please feel free to post here if you’ve got or need a double room or extra couch to share, or coordinate rides from Bay Area destinations.

Smithsonian staff talking linked data

March 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

Smithsonian Staffers

Smithsonian Staffers

Smithsonian staff are doing some planning around the LOD-LAM summit. Today, a group of us met to talk about projects, data sets, and such. We’ll have more of these sessions to talk about what’s up and what’s happening so that participants can know what kinds of things the Smithsonian will have to offer.

Pictured above, from left, Suzanne Pilsk and Keri Thompson (Smithsonian Libraries), Günter  Waible (Digitization Program Office), Michael Edson (Web and New Media Strategy), Effie Kapsalis (Smithsonian Archives). I’m the reflection in the window.

Opening the space, virtually

March 28, 2011 in announcements

Nihonbashi woodprint by Utagawa Hiroshige II (see page for license), via Wikimedia Commons/Brooklyn Museum

I’m excited to announce the list of participants for the LOD-LAM Summit today. As you can see, we’ve expanded the number of participants quite a bit due to the interest and the fact that many participants were able to get support from their institutions to attend.

As you know,the LOD-LAM Summit will be organized using the Open Space Technology format. If you haven’t experienced a meeting or unconference like that before (like FooCamp, BarCamp, THATCamp or the like), it might be a little unnerving at first, but don’t worry, I promise you it will come naturally soon. The bottom line is that we’re creating an open space to explore one question, which is “How can we move Linked Open Data forward in libraries, archives, and museums in the next year?” We’ll set the agenda together in the first hour of our meeting, assuring that the issues that are most important to you will be addressed. It will make for an exciting and exhausting two days, but you’ll be amazed at what we accomplish.

At the beginning of our meeting, we’ll start in a circle. After a quick introduction, we’ll begin to post our session ideas into an open framework of breakout rooms and time slots. We’ll work together to combine and coordinate sessions. We’ll confab, collaborate, have heated discussions, hack.

I’d like to open that circle virtually right now and invite you to share your ideas on this blog as you see fit. You can edit your bio pages and update your projects as you like. You can start posting and exploring session ideas now (just be sure to use the SessionIdeas category), you can discover and work with a good chunk of the public raw data of the participant list (and let me know if you need more). You can start to incorporate RDF or RDFa into this site, build visualizations, post reading lists.

While in-person attendance at the LOD-LAM Summit is limited by space and budget, the ongoing proceedings and discussions are open to all. Our hope is that we will continue the conversation in various and widespread venues over the next year. There’s already been some great discussion on the LOD-LAM Google Group, which is open to anyone who’s interested.

I’ve been amazed at the energy and enthusiasm around this Summit from the beginning, and I’m very excited to see where it leads us.

What the lod-lam? You drive me crazy…

March 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

In the blur that life/work seems these days I am trying to get my thoughts and energies focused for the LOD-LAM summit in San Francisco in June.

my-first-lightening-shot by WindRanch by-nc-nd 2.0

my-first-lightening-shot by WindRanch by-nc-nd 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/jetling/3809359289/

Aside being pretty excited about visiting a hilly shaky waterfront city like my home town of Wellington (Aotearoa/New Zealand) where DigitalNZ lives – the gallery/museum fiend in me is keen get to the SF MOMA and the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts and the Computer History Museum (if I can find a way to get to Mountain View).

I had a ‘funny’ as in “what the?” experience recently in relation to the semantic web. Idealism and talking within your own peer community has its pitfalls (read: group think).  I learned that not everyone is interested and/or committed to the idea of a semantic web (still) – and well – it surprised me.  I guess I’m used to the critique and/or close observation of the social web (which is good to have).  For some reason I thought this debate about the quirks of humanity and the  semantic web had gone quiet.  I’ve been behind the scenes for a while working towards delivering a useful, informative and potentially engaging experience online in the GLAM sector (LAM) and advocating for a linked data approach where possible.  So – this skepticism really surprised me – I view web development as a socio-technological phenomenon and I think it’s self evident that social behaviours will leave their imprint on and be imprinted on by new technologies.

In any case, I figure the grand vision and theory is one thing and the current reality quite another.  But I’m intrigued enough now to want to do some background reading (or be in receipt of pearls of wisdom from kindly boffins) to be disabused of my idealism.  Why?  Well I’m seeing linked open data (LOD) as a no-brainer and the idea of a semantic web as just that, an idea in the making.   What I’m taking from this is that not only is there practice/culture change involved, there is tradition, opinion and academic research… oh no!  Oh yes!  I think I’ve found my lod-lam mojo in all this pondering… I’m outing myself as a realist and a socio-technologist… eeek!

Anyway, my Mum sent me a link to this piece by Sherry Turckle Alone Together: Why We Export More From Technology and Less From Each Other which is tilting in a different direction but it also got me thinking about what drives me to push for a stronger linked data approach.  What drives me is to build systems and use technology to work effectively in a space that I used to work in as a research librarian years ago – so that time is freed up to do other work or meet new and/or expanding needs of researchers.  I also want to help advocate for ways that the GLAM (LAM) community can work more effectively together with linked data because it drives me (and other information or data seekers of all disciplinary stripes) crazy that they don’t.

I’m really looking forward to this summit… and to meeting up with people at LOD-LAM… and contributing.