Friday, September 25, 2015

Thinking Inside the (Pizza) Box with Semantic Web Concepts

If you work in technical services, you probably have at least heard the phrases "Linked Data" and "Semantic Web" among the things that we librarians are supposed to be concerned about when we think about the future of bibliographic data. If you're like me, you may find that it is hard to get a sense of what a practical application of these concepts would look like.

In a recent blog post on VoxPopuLII, Amy Taylor of American University Washington discussed her efforts to start thinking about a legal research ontology.  This blog post offers several things that can be helpful in getting a more practical understanding of Semantic Web concepts.

First, Amy mentions the book Semantic Web for Dummies as being a useful starting place for her own learning. Also, she describes the software Protege as being a tool for developing ontologies. Specifically, she mentions a tutorial called Pizzas in 10 Minutes, where you can use Protege to develop an ontology for pizzas. This looks like just the kind of hands-on practice I've been looking for.

Finally, Amy's rough sketch of her own legal research ontology is extremely useful in mapping out how Semantic Web ontologies might be useful in the world of law librarianship. This blog post is packed with useful information about applying Semantic Web concepts to the library world.

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