DDC linked data?

Jonathan Brinley brought my attention to this via a delicious post:

Decimalised Database of Concepts

Dewey Decimal Classification in RDF with links to LCC and DBPedia

I am very curious where the heck that comes from, who is responsible for it, how they managed to compile it.

Who wants in on the betting pool for how long until OCLC sends them a Cease & Desist for violating their intellectual property?

Sadly, by making this blog post I probably make earlier dates in the betting pool a better bet.


7 thoughts on “DDC linked data?

  1. If you look at the code, it constructs the RDF from publicly available data: wikipedia.

    While I don’t doubt the OCLC may well try to get it taken down given their past behavior (come on people; get with the 21st century), would they really have a legal to stand on?

    If they do, then they probably ought to go after Wikipedia too. I dare them to do that.

  2. Interesting! Thanks Bruce.

    Yeah, if OCLC actually did try to force wikipedia to take down info on DDC… it’d sure be entertaining to watch. That kind of bad publicity is not something OCLC is looking for. If (or when) the OCLC execs figure out what’s going on here, they’re going to have a conundrum.

    The dbpedia version of wikipedia is potentially a huge game changer in these matters. dbpedia, which I just learned of and still don’t know much about, has gigantic implications.

    It kind of seems like the guy that did this work may not be involved in libraries at all. Kind of sad that none of us came up with this first, but encouraging that, despite OCLC’s efforts, at least some parts of DDC are out there on the public web where anyone with an interest can do cool stuff with it, that we can then use.

    I forget enough about my DDC to know how much of it’s on wikipedia. There are more levels below what’s there that aren’t there yet, right? Yet. They will be eventually, I put money on it.

  3. This is pretty cool. I agree, that I’d be highly surprised if OCLC pursues the top-level DDC terms, since that’s pretty useless on its own.

    What’s pretty neat is that if you look at the n-triples, you can see he makes assertions to Ed’s SKOSification of the LCC Outline. While mapping between DDC and LCC is nothing new, making it explicitly part of the vocabulary is.

    Ed is singlehandedly dragging libraries into the linked data cloud. And it’s all pretty much under the radar and totally outside of any library knowledge. It will be interesting to see how the library world deals with the fact that, despite their person-decades of committees to deal with modernizing library data, the entire outside world will already have been working with it for almost a year.

    While we hem and haw about how OCLC best represent us, inkdroid.org becomes the defacto hub outside the profession.

  4. Well, I’m willing to let Ed drag me anywhere (’cause he’s a nice guy) but I also think that – while probably not doing fine – we are doing much to prepare the DDC for the Linked Data cloud. Perhaps people have not noticed, and that is entirely our responsibility; too much goes on without enough communication between communities. (But hey, isn’t fixing that what’s so great about Linking Open Data? Semantic web folks are actually excited again about library data sets and authority control.)

    The Dewey team at OCLC started this discussion at NKOS/ECDL 2007 where I talked about “the ‘webification’ of controlled subject vocabulary”, especially Dewey [1]. Back then I also showed some examples of a URI scheme for Dewey (not an easy thing to design), a thoroughly revised and matured version of which was presented in September 2008 at DCMI as “Cool URIs for the DDC” [2], heavily informed by the current discussion about RESTful URIs and web architecture.

    We presented a first attempt at a SKOS version of parts of the DDC at the ISKO-NA preconference in August 2008 as “DDC, SKOS, and Linked Data on the Web” [3]. Some more general problems we encountered while trying to model a classification scheme in SKOS where then channeled into a series of comments on the SKOS Last Call Working Draft (logged as issues 181–186 at [4]).

    Stepping back a little, I tried to look at the broader picture of relationships, identification, and the implications on the use of Dewey as a discovery tool in a post on the Metalogue blog [5]. And recently, we discussed a prototypical design of a specific Dewey web service/resource that would surface information usually buried in the complex DDC data: A history web service that allows “tracing the history of Dewey concepts” by making changes to a class accessible to humans and machines alike [6].

    Sorry for that long list of stuff. We might not be doing enough, but we are working on to play in that field that I am very passionate about. I am eager to continue this conversation and welcome anyone who wants to participate!

    [1] http://www.comp.glam.ac.uk/pages/research/hypermedia/nkos/nkos2007/presentations/NKOS_2007_webification_2-Panzer.ppt
    [2] http://dcpapers.dublincore.org/ojs/pubs/article/view/932/928
    [3] http://www.oclc.org/news/events/presentations/2008/ISKO/20080805-deweyskos-panzer.ppt
    [4] http://www.w3.org/2006/07/SWD/track/issues/
    [5] http://community.oclc.org/metalogue/archives/2008/07/relationships-spaces-and-the-t.html
    [6] http://www.oclc.org/dewey/news/conferences/more_than_lists.ppt

  5. So pleased to hear about that work, Michael, and eagerly awaiting when it will be made public and open access. I assume that is the plan — linked data behind a for-pay firewall isn’t much linked data at all.

  6. Yes, I second what Jonathan says. I’ll reserve judgment until I see you serving up SKOS from those cool URIs (sans any web service gateway).

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