Finally, I have a window of time, albeit a brief one, to write about something OTHER than Drupal on this blog. I am, after all, a librarian by training and am interested in, among other topics, metadata standards, cataloging and information retrieval as well as the so-called Semantic web.
For a while now, I've heard about projects involving the use of DBpedia to link data sets and function as a validation tool for information on the web. This concept isn't unfamiliar to traditional librarians or information science folks. In MARC, one has name authority records to facilitate standardization of names, of people, places, buildings, etc. So, the way I see it, DBpedia has the potential to be the (semantic) web's name authority file, or one of them at least.
Indeed, many organizations are already using DBpedia in this manner - see DBpedia Use cases for examples. I did a quick Google search before beginning this post for "dbpedia name authority file" and came up with 2 interesting blog posts that are relevant.
One, on the Catalogablog, about a DBpedia Faceted Browser which "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." Also on Catalogablog, I noticed this interesting post about the VIAF (Virtual International Authority File), a linked data set of many authority files. Could one use DBpedia in conjunction with something like VIAF? Or, rather, ARE people already doing this?
Another post on 'Modeling your data with DBpedia vocabularies' appeared on this blog. As a relative newcomer to linked data and RDF (well, not really. I've been reading about it for years but never actually WORKED with any!), this post illuminated several points for me, namely, this notion of how some URIs are, relatively speaking, "better" than others as they might provider "richer" ways of linking data. See the example of the Truffaut film in the post...
So, I'm noticing that I'm slightly rambling with this post, and I'm asking more questions than answering. So, I'll conclude with more questions :-)
Is the idea that DBpedia is/could be one of many vocabularies in a linked data web context that could be used to serve the "name authority" function for the semantic web?
So, via SPARQL queries, one could use DBpedia to verify names in other linked data sets?
Wow, I really need to obtain some "hands-on" experience working with some of these standards, data sets, queries, etc. Any suggestions on workshops, conferences or where to begin are very welcome?