ld1Linked Data: Structured Data on the Web is now available in a soft-cover edition. The book, authored by David Wood, Marsha Zaidman, Luke Ruth, and Michael Hausenblas, and with a forward by Tim Berners-Lee, aims to give mainstream developers without previous experience with Linked Data practical techniques for integrating it into real-world projects, focusing on languages with which they’re likely to be familiar, such as JavaScript and Python.

Berners-Lee’s forward gets the ball rolling in a big way, making the case for Linked Data and its critical importance in the web ecosystem:“The Web of hypertext-linked documents is complemented by the very powerful Linked Web of Data.  Why linked?  Well, think of how the value of a Web page is very much a function of what it links to, as well as the inherent value of the information within the Web page. So it is — in a way even more so — also in the Semantic Web of Linked Data.  The data itself is valuable, but the links to other data make it much more so.”

The topic has clearly struck a nerve, Wood believes, noting that today we are “at a point where structured data on the web is getting tremendous play,” from Google’s Knowledge Graph to the Facebook Open Graph protocol, to the growing use of the schema.org vocabulary, to data still growing exponentially in the Linked Open Data Project, and more. “The industry is ready to talk about data and data processing in a way it never has been before,” he continues. There’s growing realization that Linked Data fits in with and nicely complements technologies in the data science realm, such as machine learning algorithms and Hadoop, such that “you can suddenly build things you never could before with a tiny team, and that’s pretty cool….No technology is sufficient in and of itself but combine them and you can do really powerful things.”

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