Originally Posted to the Task Force Group Blog By Hermine Vermeij, Friday, December 12, 2014
Eric Miller's talk was divided into three sections: the past, the present, and the future.
20 years ago the thinking was that every standard we built had to encompass everything; one of the things Dublin Core recognized was that in fact lighter weight standards and modules of vocabularies can coexist nicely. One standard to serve everyone is a big challenge. That was a radical change at the time. Now the notion of application profiles is becoming more and more mainstream, and it’s going to be critical as we move forward.
The web is the most successful platform ever conceived for sharing information and services. Most webpages now are designed for humans to look at. But from a machine perspective, they can’t act on much in html; they can only identify sections as bold, underlined, italics, heading, etc. But that is changing; the new norm is moving from not just a human readable web to a machine actionable web.
The visible web – Google and Facebook. Both are using linked data. The Google global knowledge graph – the box on the right you see for certain searches--uses RDF to aggregate information from different sources. The Facebook graph search can execute searches such as “Find me all the people who like Albert Einstein near me.”
Identifier wars - If you “like” Albert Einstein on Facebook, it’s a different identifier from the Google global knowledge graph, VIAF, id.loc.gov, etc. Generally, the things that are easy to link to win. Google and Facebook are making it easy, but the library community is making it difficult to link to things.
The invisible web - the library community. We have a tremendous amount of information that is not visible to the web.
BIBFRAME is trying to make library data of the web. Using the web identifiers, using the way to web talks as a way of representing the data that the library community is curating.
The application profiles can be thought of as taking a set of LEGOs (not the whole world of LEGOs) and making them into small, useful shapes that very specialized communities can benefit from.
Zepheira's Linked Data training gives people tools that allow them to load or add data in their repositories. People want to make sure that if they convert MARC to BIBFRAME, they don't lose everything. (Which implies that they know what they have, which often they don't.) The tools tell you the frequency distribution of the MARC tags you're using, etc. 200 MARC records convert to 1400 resources. It's broken into topics, people, organizations, genres, etc. that are linkable. In the process of linking to those resources, we will increase the visibility of these things.
Then we can make our identifiers as easy to link to as Google's is. Open Refine is a data cleaning tool. It can, for example, match a spreadsheet of authors against authority files.
There's an opportunity to recognize Linked Data patterns and make recommendations for "micro-patterns" that will support Linked Data interoperability.
The library community has not done a great job making our resources visible on the web. If you do a search on The Great Gatsby, you need to go past page 100 of Google results to get something about a library. We've put a lot of effort into producing data and making it available, but it doesn't have enough other resources linking to it to increase visibility. If only 10% of our libraries pointed to the same thing, it would be an enormous SEO improvement.
All of the pieces are in place; the invisible web is increasingly being built on Linked Data standards. The front end search engines are able to consume this.
All libraries have some unique things that should be showcased; we can do more to make them visible.