Friday, September 25, 2009

Virtual International Authority File Now Linked Data

Some interesting news about the VIAF.
As promised in an earlier post, VIAF (the Virtual International Authority File) is now available as linked data. For those not familiar with VIAF, it is a merger of nearly 20 national-level name authority files (currently we are only dealing with personal names). There are some 9.5 million personae described in VIAF and have established more than 4 million links between the files.

To us linked data means:
  • URIs for everything
  • HTTP 303 redirects for URIs representing the personae our metadata is about
  • HTTP content negotiation for different data formats
  • An RDF view of the data
  • A rich a set of internal and external links in our data

In addition to using the extensions (e.g. m21), HTTP content negotiation can be used to get the various versions of the record.

The canonical URI currently returns an XML version of the VIAF record (which gets rendered into HTML in the browser via XSLT), but in the future we expect to return HTML. As more of the authority files contributing to VIAF become available on the web we will be including more links to external sites.

For RDF we are currently returning a fairly rudimentary Friend of a Friend (FOAF) record.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

DBPedia Tools

Some useful tools from the DBpedia folk.
We are pleased to announce the release of the DBpedia Faceted Browser by Jona Christopher Sahnwaldt as well as the DBpedia User Script by Anja Jentzsch.

The DBpedia Faceted Browser allows you to explore Wikipedia via a faceted browsing interface. It supports keyword queries and offers relevant facets to narrow down search results, based on the DBpedia Ontology. In this manner, queries such as “recent films about Buenos Aires” can be easily and intuitively posed against DBpedia.
The DBpedia Faceted browser was developed in cooperation with the search engine company Neofonie, which also kindly provided the funding for this project.

The DBpedia User Script is a Greasemonkey script that enhances Wikipedia pages with a link to their corresponding DBpedia page and can be used within Firefox, Safari and Opera with a suitable Greasemonkey plugin.