Linked Data is about using the Web to "connect related data that wasn't previously linked, or using the Web to lower the barriers to linking data currently linked using other methods" (Linkeddata.org). More specifically, Wikipedia defines Linked Data as "a term used to describe a recommended best practice for exposing, sharing, and connecting pieces of data, information, and knowledge on the Semantic Web using URIs and RDF."
The Semantic Web provides a common framework that allows data to be shared and reused across application, enterprise, and community boundaries. It is a collaborative effort led by W3C with participation from a large number of researchers and industrial partners.
The W3C is the home of the Linked Library Incubator Group, whose mission "is to help increase global interoperability of library data on the Web, by bringing together people involved in Semantic Web activities—focusing on Linked Data—in the library community and beyond, building on existing initiatives, and identifying collaboration tracks for the future."
Few library institutions have begun work to design or develop the infrastructure required to use Linked Data as the basis of the environments and tools used for creating, managing, delivering, and sharing the information that supports discovery and navigation services for the collections and resources they deliver.
In May 2010, CLIR and its DLF program, in partnership with the British Library, held a Global Digital Libraries Linked Data workshop to better understand the Semantic Web and envision its application in a library context. By the end of the workshop, it was clear that there was a great need for a coordinated effort to continue exploring the impact Linked Data will have on libraries, as well as demonstrative projects. Linked Open Data is a complex concept that requires many conversations to successfully seed and mobilize efforts within the library, archives, and museum communities.
Call For Ideas
DLF recognizes the importance of Linked Open Data and seeks to facilitate these conversations and activities, openly calling for ideas on how we can support the community around Linked Open Data efforts.
Please leave your suggestions and ideas on the Linked Open Data Call for Ideas.