In this column “The art of Linked Data” a few of us at Zepheira will try to bring observations, reflections and practical advice from various projects applying Linked Data and thus Semantic Web principles across diverse domains. At Zepheira we help organizations implement sophisticated Web solutions with a specialty in combining the reasoning power of people with the mechanical processing of computers.
Imagine a situation where a scientific researcher is trying to organize a variety of material for a project or paper; that material might be coming from various sources, in various formats, and with shifting context throughout. There might be related research papers (citations and references), contact information for peer researchers, information about organizations who have sponsored the research with grants or research budget, the actual scientific data collected during the research, and more.
At Zepheira we recognize that there are things that computing can achieve to make the researcher’s job much more efficient, including analysis and conversion of underlying formats, basic indexing, and cataloging. We also recognize that once you’ve done these basic things, the limitations of computing become very apparent. You can guess that a particular phrase is a place name, or that another is a title of a related paper, but in our experience such guessing leads to very uneven results. The Linked Data community has taken entity extraction and the like to very sophisticated levels, but real value comes from being able to present the framework of guesses to the researcher so he or she can create annotations in a friendly user interface. With such annotations in place we can link data and apply data services with full confidence.