Introducing SPARQLGraph, a Platform for Querying Biological Semantic Web Databases

sgDominik Schweiger, Zlatko Trajanoski and Stephan Pabinger recently wrote, “Semantic Web has established itself as a framework for using and sharing data across applications and database boundaries. Here, we present a web-based platform for querying biological Semantic Web databases in a graphical way.  Results: SPARQLGraph offers an intuitive drag &drop query builder, which converts the visual graph into a query and executes it on a public endpoint. The tool integrates several publicly available Semantic Web databases, including the databases of the just recently released EBI RDF platform. Furthermore, it provides several predefined template queries for answering biological questions. Users can easily create and save new query graphs, which can also be shared with other researchers.”

According to the website, “The Bio2RDF project has converted and interconnected many biological databases to allow federated querying across database boundaries. EMBL very recently launched its own SW platform for several of their own databases, including Uniprot, ChEMBL, and Reactome. Together, these resources combine an enormous amount of biological information, but the task of querying the semantic data remains an unresolved problem for most researchers. Typically profound background knowledge of the underlying databases as well as the query language is needed. SPARQL has emerged as the most-widely used language to retrieve and manipulate data stored in the Resource Description Framework (RDF) format, but often proves to be too complex for inexperienced users.”

The site continues, “As a consequence, several efforts have been made to make the data more accessible and hide the complexities of the querying language from the end-user. However, to the best of our knowledge, no service has been published that allows users to graphically build and execute semantic queries without having to deal with the database schemas and underlying SW technologies. Therefore, we have created a web-based platform featuring an intuitive graphical query editor, several predefined template queries, and a clear result presentation.”

Visit the website here.

Image: Courtesy SPARQLGraph