The relevance of Linked Open Data to Cultural Institutions

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Key Points

  • LOD as alternative to centralized service oriented sites (contrast even with Collaborative sources like Wikipedia).
  • LOD offers a unique means of balancing "authority" with diversity/multiplicity of sources.

Browsing the RDF of a schema:

Prelude: Countering the centralizing tendencies of Web 2.0

Example 1

A interesting related document to this topic is "Open Linked Data and Europeana" written by Maarten Zeinstra and Paul Keller (of Kennisland). One can find the document via a Google search for "Linked Open Data Cultural Institutions". The link appears as follows:

Google offers no direct link to the resource -- just a rather obscured wrapped URL. Because the resource is a PDF file, following the link triggers (depending on the browser) the file to immediately download and thus never reveals it's URL in the browser. Going to the europeana website directly to "search" for this resource does not (to my attempts) result in finding the document in question.

Thus two trends:

  1. The "sticky" centralizing tendency of web 2.0 services
  2. The abandonment of maintaining proper search indexes / tools / coherent site structure within the websites of individual (small) institutions.

work together to further centralize the operation of an otherwise distributed Web.

Example 2

An interesting presentation, posted on slideshare:

To download: LoginWithFacebook.png

The convenience of services like slideshare encourage posting one's presentation slides; however the requirement for a login to access the original source file clearly dampens the openness of resources made available on the web. The increasing tendency of using Facebook as a "quick and easy" means of providing an identity for login is again a sign of how even other web 2.0 services are themselves shifting their own identity / operations onto larger overarching services.

Linked Data Browsers


annoying... seems not to work (why is so much w3c stuff broken!)... aha oops you have to tweak firefox's java settings to allow it. OK.

Nice structure, like how you can add / manage multiple sources, and then have different modes of viewing (Table, Map, Calendar, Timeline). But loading doesn't seem to work. Argh.


Zitgist Dataviewr

Illegible (bad columns sizing, overlapping text), really spread out (Eva Hesse shown in 5 pages!) No in-place expansion.


don't get this...


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