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Category: opinion

Know Your Audience: Encouraging use of Linked Data

by Sarah on 05 Aug 2013 in linked-data, opinion, rdf

Linked Data rocks. It’s the ideal technology for representing data on the web. However that message is spreading relatively slowly and it’s not being used as much as it could be. As Linked Data fans, what can we do about it? Read More »

Swirrl Blog: A Retrospective

by Ric on 29 Jul 2013 in announcements, learning, linked-data, opinion, rdf

As part of our recent website redesign, we decided to consolidate some of our other blogs into one place, here at, rather than try to keep up a regular blogging routine in multiple places. While we were going through all our old posts I came a across a few that I thought would be worth revisiting. Read More »

Linked Open Data Business Models

by Ric on 11 Jul 2012 in business, linked-data, open-data, opinion

In the wake of our respected competitor, Talis, retiring from the general Linked Data software and consulting market, I thought it would be a good time to explain how we perceive the market, and position ourselves at Swirrl. Read More »

The (Ice) Cube Ontology

by Ric on 05 Apr 2012 in fun, linked-data, opinion, rdf

Over the last month, I've been working on a fairly meaty Linked Data project (more details of that project coming soon). Anyway, I tend to go through musical phases, and during this project I've been listening to a lot of 90s West-coast hip hop. My second son arrived in February, and this project required me to work a fair number of late nights. I think the lack of sleep has pushed my mind into a higher plane, allowing me to uncover something pretty big. Read More »

Freeing Data with Free Software

by Ric on 17 Oct 2011 in open-source, opinion, speaking

I'm going to be giving a talk tomorrow at the Manchester Free Software Group meetup at the Madlab tomorrow night (Tues, 18th Oct at 7pm). I'll be exploring the benefits and pitfalls of using free software to build Swirrl's Linked Data platform for publishing open data, PublishMyData Read More »

Linked Data File Format Registry

by Bill on 03 Nov 2010 in data-modelling, linked-data, opinion, projects

I'm currently doing some linked data consultancy for the Open Planets Foundation (OPF). I'm helping to investigate the options for using linked data for a registry of file format information, part of the toolbox needed for long-term preservation of digital material by 'memory institutions' like archives and libraries. Read More »

RDF Datasets and Named Graphs

by Bill on 24 Aug 2010 in data-modelling, linked-data, opinion, rdf

I think we need to establish a common practice to link RDF datasets and named graphs. I've been working recently on discovery of linked data: how people can find out easily what is available and how they can use it, either directly or by building it into new applications. Read More »

Linked Data in Edinburgh and Manchester

by Bill on 23 Jul 2010 in linked-data, opinion

I've been at a couple of great Web of Data events in the last ten days or so. On 13 July, I organised a Linked Data meetup in Edinburgh that I'm pleased to say went very well. Around 25 people showed up to hear interesting talks from Zach Beauvais of Talis and Paola di Maio of Strathclyde University. There was a good mix of people already experienced with linked data and others who wanted to learn more about it - many of them with specific potential applications in mind. Read More »

Public Sector Open Data: Big Problems Still to Solve

by Bill on 04 Jul 2010 in linked-data, open-data, opinion

We're in the very early days of the UK government's new approach to open data. While it seems to be going in the right direction and progress has in many respects been remarkably quick (eg the government's recent announcement on public sector transparency), clearly we still have a lot to learn and many problems to overcome. Read More »

Scottish Linked Data Interest Group

by Bill on 24 May 2010 in linked-data, opinion, scotland

At the recent Open Knowledge Scotland meeting, Paola di Maio suggested setting up a Scottish interest group on linked data. Jeff Pan and I agreed with her and we decided to give it a try. I've volunteered to organise the first meeting. We know that there's a lot of interesting work going on in Scotland in this field and we want to provide an informal forum for people in the area to get together and exchange ideas - and hopefully encourage others to get involved. Read More »

Scottish Data Now

by Bill on 19 Mar 2010 in linked-data, opinion

Tim Berners-Lee recently gave a short talk to TED, reporting back on a year of great progress since his 2009 cry of 'Raw Data Now'. One of the big contributors to this has been the UK government via the initiative, which I'm sure all readers of this blog are well aware of. If you are from outside the UK (and for many Brits too), you might not be aware that the UK has a rather complicated system of government, where some responsibilities are handled centrally for the whole country and some are devolved to the Scottish government (and a different set of responsibilities to assemblies in Wales and Northern Ireland). Anyway, it seems that is one of those initiatives that more or less stops at the Scottish border. This is mainly because most of the departments publishing their data have responsibility for England and Wales, with an equivalent but separate Scottish department in charge once you are north of Hadrian's Wall. Or something like that - it's complicated! Read More »

Need for better linked data practices

by Bill on 19 Nov 2009 in linked-data, opinion

few weeks ago I asked on this blog 'What makes good linked data?'. A recent blog post by Mike Bergman and Frédérick Giasson really helps to get to the heart of this question. If you are interested in how to use linked data effectively you should definitely read Mike and Fred's article. To summarise briefly, they look at two specific high profile examples of linked data: the Rensellaer Polytechnic Tetherless World group's work on converting datasets to RDF, and the recent New York Times initiative to open up their topic pages as RDF. Read More »

What makes good linked data?

by Bill on 19 Oct 2009 in linked-data, opinion

Readers of this blog probably take it for granted that publishing more linked data is a Good Thing. Linked data should follow the established design principles, but that still leaves many ways to represent your data as RDF. Which is the 'best' way? How do we decide if our approach is good or bad? How do we improve? Read More »

Semantic web going mainstream?

by Bill on 02 Oct 2009 in linked-data, opinion

Yesterday Jim Hendler's post 'It's just a matter of semantics' post was published by the CNN Brainstorm Tech blog. As Hendler said on Twitter, it was edited in odd ways but not totally butchered Read More »

TimBL: How to put your data online

by Bill on 23 Jun 2009 in linked-data, opinion

Further to the news the other day that Berners-Lee is advising the UK government on how to get more of its data online, Sir Tim has now published a straightforward how-to guide: Putting Government Data online Read More »

More UK government data online?

by Bill on 17 Jun 2009 in linked-data, opinion

With the recently published Digital Britain report and now Gordon Brown appointing Sir TimBL as a special advisor, is the UK Government finally starting to see the interwebs as an opportunity for economic and social improvement, rather than just as something to control? Read More »