Posts Tagged ‘Worldcat’
At The Semantic Technology and Business conference in San Francisco Monday, OCLC technology evangelist Richard Wallis broke the news that Content-negotiation was implemented for the publication of Linked Data for WorldCat resources. Last June, WorldCat.org began publishing Linked Data for its bibliographic treasure trove, a global catalog of more than 290 million library records and some 2 billion holdings, leveraging schema.org to describe the assets.
“Now you can use standard Linked Data technologies to bring back information in RDF/ XML, JSON, or Turtle,” Wallis said. Or triples. “People can start playing with this today.” As he writes in his blog discussing the news, they can manually specify their preferred serialization format to work with or display, or do it from within a program by specifying to the http protocol for the format to accept from accessing the URI.
“Two hundred ninety million records on the web of Linked Data is a pretty good chunk of stuff when you start talking content negotiation,” Wallis told the Semantic Web Blog.
Karen Coyle recently analyzed a new release of OCLC metadata records. She writes, “OCLC recently released a file of 1.2 million metadata records for the most widely held items in its catalog. These are all items with 250 library holdings or more. I created a list on WorldCat of the top 50, mostly out of curiosity. I was quite surprised at the results, however. Here’s how it breaks down: 16 periodicals, with Time and Newsweek being numbers 1 and 2, respectively; 29 kid and YA books, four of which (and very high even in this small list) from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series; 5 adult books.”
Coyle goes on, “The five adult books are: (1) McCullough, D. G. (1992). Truman. New York: Simon & Schuster. (2) Brown, D. (2003). The Da Vinci code: A novel. New York: Doubleday. (3) Johnson, S. (1998). Who moved my cheese?: An a-mazing way to deal with change in your work and in your life. New York: Putnam. (4) Haley, A. (1976). Roots. Garden City, N.Y: Doubleday. (5) Peters, T. J., & Waterman, R. H. (1982). In search of excellence: Lessons from America’s best-run companies. New York: Harper & Row. This small set gives me many ideas of things to investigate in the full set.”
Image: Courtesy OCLC
Richard Wallis has followed up his recent announcement that WorldCat data can now be downloaded as RDF triples with an explanation of how to put that data into a triple store. He begins: “Step 1: Choose a triplestore. I followed my own advise and chose 4Store. The main reasons for this choice were that it is open source yet comes from an environment where it was the base platform for a successful commercial business, so it should work. Also in my years rattling around the semantic web world, 4Store has always been one of those tools that seemed to be on everyone’s recommendation list.” Read more
Created over the last four decades with the participation of thousands of member libraries, WorldCat is the world’s largest online registry of library collections. As the official press release states, “WorldCat.org now offers the largest set of linked bibliographic data on the Web. With the addition of Schema.org mark-up to all book, journal and other bibliographic resources in WorldCat.org, the entire publicly available version of WorldCat is now available for use by intelligent Web crawlers, like Google and Bing, that can make use of this metadata in search indexes and other applications.”
On the heels of the announcement earlier this week about Dewey Decimal Classifications also being available as Linked Data, this certainly marks an exciting week in the world of library information and the Semantic Web. However, this should also prove to be exciting for non-librarians, as these resources are now available beyond the world of library sciences.
Linked data is becoming even more interesting to the OCLC, a non-profit, membership, computer library service and research organization of 72,000 libraries in 170 countries and territories around the world. It’s named Richard Wallis — formerly of the U.K.’s Talis Linked Data and Semantic Web Technology company and one of our frequent Semantic Web Blog guest authors — to the position of Technology Evangelist.
The OCLC has as a major asset Worldcat, a global catalog comprising the collections of more than 10,000 libraries and adding up to more than 258 million records and 1.8 billion-plus holdings, in traditional library metadata format. WorldCat.org is the publicly searchable view of their core data in library format based upon library records (Marc records). More semantic web-oriented is other work the OCLC been doing over the last couple of years, Wallis explains, including experiments with using RDF/Linked Data at viaf.org, where the Virtual International Authority File publishes authoritative descriptions of names or organizations, and something similar for the Dewey Decimal Classification system at dewey.info.
In his new role, Wallis will collaborate with members and facilitate projects with OCLC teams as libraries and the cooperative drive efforts to expose WorldCat data as linked data, and will represent OCLC and WorldCat to the global library and web/IT leader communities. The VIAF and Dewey projects certainly provided an opportunity for OCLC to see the benefit of linking things together. On top of that, “the climate for Linked Data and libraries has changed dramatically over the last 12 months,” Wallis says.
Interest was evident at the Linked Data in Libraries event he ran for Talis this past summer, for example, and efforts like the W3C’s Linked Data in Libraries interest group, the Linked Open Data in Libraries, Archives & Museums work, the British Library’s work on the British National Bibliography as Linked Open Data, and the Library of Congress’s Bibliographic Framework Initiative General Plan all are adding fuel to the fire.
The opportunity is there for the OCLC to take the lead on Linked Data in the somewhat fragmented library world as those organizations start to hear more and more about the concept. “Linked Data is starting to be something talked about in the library world, but like any other world, it’s still a bit of an enthusiast environment,” Wallis says. As he evangelizes to the library community what Linked Data is about – and to the web community about what the OCLC is doing with its chunk of data that is relevant to the wider Linked Data and Web of Data world – he hopes “to be in at the beginning of a process where those two communities come together to help come up with the best way of applying Linked Data principles to library data.”
In a statement announcing the appointment, Robin Murray, OCLC Vice President, Global Product Management, said, “Richard Wallis is a leader in Semantic Web and Linked Data technology, and we believe he will help the OCLC cooperative extend our efforts to help libraries move to Webscale.”
Data Liberate, the consultancy Wallis began upon leaving Talis, will continue as a personal blogging site. “I still have interest wider than the library community and I believe that those interests can keep me up to date with the wide world and advise my advice into the OCLC,” he says.