By a mile the highlight of last week or so was the 2nd Linked Data meet-up. Silver and Georgi did a great job of organising the day and I came away with a real sense that not only are we on the cusp of seeing a lot of data on the web but also that the UK is at the centre of this particular revolution. All very exciting.
In terms of Wildlife Finder there are a few things that I wanted to highlight:
If you’re interested in the RDF and how we’re modelling the data we’ve documented the wildlife ontology here. In addition to the ontology itself we’ve also included some background on why we modelled the information in the way we have.
If you want to get you’re hands on the RDF/XML then either add .rdf to the end of most of our URLs (more on this later) or configure your client to request RDF/XML – we’ve implemented content negotiation so you’ll just get the data.
But… we’ve not implemented everything just yet. Specifically the adaptations aren’t published as RDF – this is because we’re making a few changes to the structure of this information and I didn’t want to publish the data and then change it. Nor have we published information on the species conservation status that’s simply because we’ve not finish yet (sorry).
It’s not all RDF – we are also marking-up our taxa pages with the species microformat which gives more structure to the common and scientific names.
I’ve really been neglecting this blog recently – apologies but my attention has been elsewhere recently. Anyway, while I get round to actually writing something here’s a presentation I gave at the Online Information Conference recently.
The presentation is largely based upon the article Michael and I wrote for Nodalities this time last year.
The BBC’s Natural History Unit is responsible for some of the BBC’s most loved TV and radio programming — unfortunately until now it’s only been accessible as part of the regular schedule or via iPlayer. I say until now because today we launched the first phase of a new project which brings clips from the best of the NHU’s programmes online.
Over the last few months we’ve been plundering the NHU’s archive to find the best bits — segmenting the TV programmes, tagging them (with DBpedia terms) and then aggregating them around URIs for the key concepts within the natural history domain; so that you can discover those programme segments via both the originating programme and via concepts within the natural history domain — species, habitats, adaptations and the like.
The segments/ clips ‘belong’ to their originating programme — and as a result we’ve been adding information, about a bunch of programmes from thearchive, to PIPs (the underlying database behind iPlayer and /programmes). The clip pages aren’t yet linked in with their owning episode, but they will be soon.
In addition to being able to discover these clips from within the context of the programme we are also providing URIs to aggregate information around the natural history domain, that is URIs for species, habitats, adaptations and ecozones.
Our hope is that by providing highly inter-linked, URIs we can help people gain a greater understanding of the natural world. For example, by being able to see the different animals and habitats that live within differentecozones you can gain an understanding of the diversity of of life in different parts of the world; or what different animals make up the Mammal or BirdClass; or more about a particular adaptation.
You might have noticed that the slugs for our URIs (the last bit of the URL) are the same as those used by Wikipedia and DBpedia that’s because I believe in the simple joy of webscale identifiers, you will also see that much like the BBC’s music site we are transcluding the introductory text from Wikipedia to provide background information for most things. This also means that we are creating and editing Wikipedia articles where they need improving (of course you are also more than welcome to improve upon the articles).
Adopting this approach means that we are able to contribute distinctive content to the Web while at the same time helping people find what is already there.
There is a lot more we need to do, including linking in with current programmes and making everything available as RDF, JSON and for mobile devices. That’s all on it’s way but in the meantime I hope you find what’s there useful, informative and entertaining.