Linked Open Data: The Essentials – Bauer & Kaltenbock

I found this reading to be very thought-provoking, because it did bring up a lot of things that I haven’t really ever sat down and really considered before. We really are approaching the next stage in web data where we have to think about how to structure and link the information, even if we don’t really know how users will apply that information yet. It sounds impossible, because I think a whole part of the being a librarian thing is being able to predict what a user wants and how it’s going to be easiest for them to get it. This is almost the same idea, except you’re figuring out the ‘how to get it’ part before the ‘what do they want’ part for their information needs.

LOD applications are already beginning in some industries, but it needs to become more widespread for it to be useful to everyone who uses the internet. The chapter points out that a lot of data is already out there, but it’s unlinked and ‘hidden’, and it can be difficult for a user to find all the pieces and put them together themselves. (I’ve experienced some of this personally when doing projects as an undergrad, and becoming frustrated with sites that had large databases of free information, but no real links to any other data or ways to really understand it in relation to other things. If you don’t already have an idea of what’s going on in the data set, it can be difficult to understand.) I agree that LOD is most likely the next step in open web data, but I think that the industries and companies that are creating the ways for this to occur are going to not be emphasizing the ‘free’ part so much.

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