by Eric Franzon
Among the many exciting activities at the 10th Annual Semantic Technology & Business Conference (#SemTechBiz) is the partnership with the Linked Open Data in Libraries Archives, and Museums (LODLAM) Community. On Tuesday, August 19, 2014, LODLAM will hold a full day of trainings at the SemTechBiz Conference in San Jose, California. Registration information is available here.
We spoke to Jon Voss, Co-Founder of the International LODLAM Summit, about the Training Day:
SemanticWeb.com: What is the LODLAM Training Day?
SW: What can people expect to learn?
JV: We’ve broken the day down into two sections, basically: publishing data and reusing data. The first part of the day we’ll look at ways that libraries, archives and museums are putting massive amounts of structured data online for the public good, and what techniques and tools you can use to do it. The second part of the day we’ll be looking at using this data in different ways, how to use SPARQL queries, how to build data into other mashups, how to use open datasets to improve your own data, etc.
SW: Why did you feel the need to create the Training Day?
JV: Institutions around the world are working to make our most valuable data on cultural heritage, research and knowledge available to the public in increasingly useful, and usable, ways. This is a collaborative effort and we wanted to bring practitioners together to help teach others how they’re doing it.
SW: What is going on in the LODLAM world today that makes this the right time for such an event?
JV: Over the last 5 years, we’ve seen a huge uptake of libraries, archives and museums exploring the possibilities of using Linked Open Data. There’s been an incredible shift in the policy and culture of these institutions to make this a reality, so we’re at a point now where we can start to turn our attention to the technology and strategy of actually doing things with the data. What new tools, visualizations, and uses can we start to create? We’ve just started to scratch the surface and a workshop like this provides access to the tools and the community that will open a new door to knowledge discovery.
SW: Who should attend?
JV: This workshop is for dreamers and doers. Anyone from metadata specialists to scholars to history enthusiasts with a knack for the technical will come out of the sessions with new ways to share, explore, and reuse data. For instance, I’ve been looking for a dataset of events from World War I. Eetu [Mäkelä, Aalto University School of Science] is going to show us how I can create this by querying a triplestore of WWI data assembled by an international collaboration of scholars and developers. The experience level will range from novice to advanced, so there’s something for everyone, and you’ll have access to practitioners who are doing the work and can answer your questions as we go. It’s really an unprecedented opportunity, and thanks to the conference producers, we’re also able to make it affordable for people in the LODLAM Community — the whole day is $75 to attend.
SW: Are there benefits to having the LODLAM and SemTechBiz audiences meet? What are they?
JV: There is definitely natural overlap between the LODLAM and SemTechBiz audiences, and several of the people leading sessions are already long time participants at SemTechBiz. I also think that a lot of libraries in particular have been marketed to by a relatively small number of vendors, and I’d love to see that expand to other semantic web companies that can enable large scale implementation of shared and open library data. Aside from those opportunities, the number of open datasets available for reuse and discovery will hopefully lead to even more collaboration between developers within and without libraries, archives, and museums and increase the possibilities of data implementation for the common good.