Linked Data: Connecting the terminology dots

Linked Data: Connecting the terminology dots

Last Saturday Rodolfo Maslias (TermCoord) shared in Twitter his post titled “One big cloud: All Terminology – All Languages”,1 a recount of the Datathon 2015 (Spain), in which he was a keynote speaker. The event was the first Datathon on Linked Data applied to Linguistics and it was offered in the form of a “summer school”, allowing participants (linguists and engineers) “to migrate their own (or other’s) linguistic data and publish them as Linked Data on the Web” or, in Rodolfo’s words, “to link terminology data in one multilingual cloud covering all domains of institutional, academic and industrial activity”.

In his post, Rodolfo gives an overview of the rationale behind the need to link data on the web: The large amount of information from business and academia that is being shared in the web needs to be interconnected in “one unique terminology cloud”. The methods being used to gather that information get rid of duplicates that are unavoidably created then those resources are brought together to the same space and to make data interoperable.

But, what is exactly linked data? It is shared information published on the web that goes beyond just publishing an Excel or Word file: Every element of the data published is given an individual identity called a “Uniform Resource Identifier”, or URI. Once the data is identified, experts use the HTTP protocol to organize it in the Resource Description Framework, a graph-based model to structure that linked data in the web.2

So, the three key terms to understand linked data are:

URI, the Uniform Resource Identifier, a string of characters used to identify a name of a resource (or simply, to name things). Such identification enables interaction with representations of the resource over a network, typically the World Wide Web, using specific protocols. The most common form of URI is the Uniform Resource Locator (URL), frequently referred to informally as a web address.3

HTTP, the HyperText Transfer Protocol, so widely known by us, is used to look up things named by the URIs.

RDF, the Resource Description Framework, originally invented to provide formal means to describe any resource, both offline (e.g. books in a library), and online (e.g. PDF) documents in an electronic archive),4 is a standard model for data interchange on the Web that facilitates data merging.5

One of the research projects being carried out on this topic is LIDER6, which aims to provide “an ecosystem for the establishment of a new Linked Open Data (LOD) based ecosystem of free, interlinked, and semantically interoperable language resources (corpora, dictionaries, lexical and syntactic metadata, etc.) and media resources (image, video, etc. metadata)”.

This new technology and methods are giving a new turn to terminology management and are the tools that connect the terminological dots.

PS: Make sure you visit the links below to learn more about Linked Data.

Sources and further reading

  1. Maslias, Rodolfo “One big cloud: All Terminology – All Languages”.
  2. Ontology-Linked Data, in wikispaces.asu.edu [consulted on 21 June 2015]
  3. Uniform Resource Identifier. The Wikipedia [consulted on 21 June 2015]
  4. Chiarcos, Christian; Hellmann, Sebastian; Nordhoff, Sebastian.Towards a Linguistic Linked Open Data cloud: The Open Linguistics Working Group. [consulted on 21 June 2015]
  5. Resource Description Framework[consulted on 21 June 2015]
  6. Lider website. [consulted on 21 June 2015]

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