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What is Linked Open Data? Europeana releases an animation to explain

Joris Pekel - February 21, 2012 in Front Page, Linked Open Data

Linked Open Data is getting more attention from the information world, as well as from memory institutions. But what exactly is it and more important, why is it a good thing? To explain this, Europeana  has released an animation.

Linked Open Data from europeana on Vimeo.

The concept of Linked Open Data is attracting Europe’s major national libraries: the Bibliothèque nationale de France recently launched its rich linked data resource, while the national libraries of the UK, Germany and Spain, among many other cultural institutions, have been publishing their metadata under an open licence.

Europeana is making data openly available to the public and private sectors alike so they can use it to develop of innovative applications for smartphones and tablets and to create new web services and portals.

Support for Open Data innovation is at the root of Europeana’s new Data Exchange Agreement, the contract that libraries, museums, and archives agree to when their metadata goes into Europeana.

The Data Exchange Agreement has been signed by all the national libraries, by leading national museums such as the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, and by many of the content providers for entire countries, such as Sweden’s National Heritage Board. The new Data Exchange Agreement dedicates the metadata to the Public Domain and comes into effect on 1 July 2012, after which all metadata in Europeana will be available as Open Data.

 

German National Library releases more Linked Open Data under a more Open License

Joris Pekel - February 9, 2012 in Front Page, Linked Open Data

Good news from Germany: The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek (DNB), the German National Library, has launched a Linked Data version of the German National Bibliography under Creative Commons Zero meaning that the information can be re-used without legal restriction.

Julia Hauser, from the DNB, explains in an email to the  World Wide Web Consortion (W3C):

“In 2010 the German National Library (DNB) started publishing authority data as Linked Data. The existing Linked Data service of the DNB is now extended with title data. In this context the licence for linked data is shifted to “Creative Commons Zero.

The bibliographic data of the DNB’s main collection (apart from the printed music and the collection of the Deutsches Exilarchiv) and the serials (magazines, newspapers and series of the German Union Catalogue of serials (ZDB) have been converted. This is an experimental service that will be continually expanded and improved.”

The release of the bibliographic data as Linked Open Data means that the DNB joins a host of other cultural heritage institutions such as the British Library and the Swedish National Library who have taken a similar course.

Linked Open Data makes sure that information from one cultural dataset can be linked with information from another dataset in a meaningful way. This could be two datasets from different institutions, or, indeed, two datasets from the same organisation. The possibilities are endless as long as everybody uses unique URI’s for their data. More information about how Linked Open Data works can be found here.

Now that more and more cultural institutions see the importance of Linked Open Data, Richard Wallis, from the Data Liberate blog,  predicts that this will be the first of many such announcements this year.