In a previous post, I discussed my excitement about the developments surrounding RDF and linked data in the Drupal community - namely, that these technologies will be part of core in Drupal 7, the newest release of the CMS. The work of folks like Lin Clark convinces me that Drupal can play a pivotal role in the linked data and semantic web taking off. Our recent experience here in my team further supports this idea.
In the last few weeks, we've been able to take ca. 4,600 items (abstracts of our articles) and import them into a Drupal 6 site and via the Open Calais module, auto-tag them with a few of the entities in Open Calais and thus have a quick "on-ramp" into using semantic technologies and linked data. We have many questions about where to go from here, how to make our RDF richer, how to use modules like SPARQL Views to leverage the connections between our data and other data sets, etc. But, one thing's for certain, using a CMS like Drupal has made the process thus far effortless and user-friendly.
Ed Summers' recent post on the developments regarding DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers), namely that "CrossRef has made the metadata for 46 million Digital Object Identifiers (DOI) available as Linked Data", is a welcome development for anyone in publishing. We use DOIs to resolve our abstracts to their full-text counterparts. So, this is exciting news. It's not clear to me the level at which the RDF returned in this DOI will have will contain many value adds, but the development itself seems like a nice step forward for the linked data movement.
Summers makes a strong case for why this development is important and is something to take note of:
I think you should care about this example because it shows:
- how an existing organization can leverage its pre-existing identifiers on the Web to enable data publishing (Linked Data)
- how important it is for publishers to consider who they link to in their data, and how they do it
- how essential the RDF data model is for using the Web to join up these pools (or some may call them silos) of data
Okay, I'll stop quoting from his post. You really need to read the whole post. It's great. Go here
Again, it's exciting to be (finally) getting my feet wet in actually working with real scenarios and actual data sets in an RDF/Linked Data/Semantic Web context. Grounding these standards and technologies in real-life applications seems to me the best way to grasp the potential here. And, there is a lot of potential.