Monday, 28 June 2010

Love me, connect me, Facebook me

This is just a quick post to alert readers to the recent existence of a dedicated MA/MSc/PG Dip. Information & Library Management Facebook group page. The page is for current and prospective ILM students, but should also prove useful to alumni and enable networking between former students and/or other information professionals.

Being a Facebook group page it is accessible to everyone; however, those of you with Facebook accounts can become fans to be kept abreast of programme news, events, research activity, industry developments and so forth. Click the "Like it!" button!

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Visualising the metadata universe

No blog postings for almost three months and then two come along at once...  I thought it would be worth drawing to the attention of readers the recent work of Jenn Riley of Indiana University.  Jenn is currently metadata guru for the Indiana University Digital Library Program and yesterday on the Dublin Core list she announced the output of a project to build a conceptual model of the 'metadata universe'. 

As evidenced by some of my blogs, there are literally hundreds of metadata standards and structured data formats available, all with their own acronym.  This seems to have become more complicated with the emergence of numerous XML based standards in the early to mid noughties, and the more recent proliferation of RDF vocabularies for the Semantic Web and the associated Linked Data drive.  What formats exists?  How do they relate to each other?  For which communities of practice are they optimised, e.g. information industry or cultural sector?  What are the metadata, technical standards, vocabularies that I should be congnisant of in my area?  And so the question list goes on...

These questions can be difficult to answer, and it is for this reason that Jenn Riley has produced a gigantic poster diagram (above) entitled, 'Seeing standards: a visualization of the metadata universe'.  The diagram achieves what a good model should, i.e. simplifying complex phenomena and presenting a large volume of information in a condensed way.  As the website blurb states:
"Each of the 105 standards listed here is evaluated on its strength of application to defined categories in each of four axes: community, domain, function, and purpose. The strength of a standard in a given category is determined by a mixture of its adoption in that category, its design intent, and its overall appropriateness for use in that category."
A useful conceptual tool for academics, practitioners and students alike.  A glossary of metadata standards in either poster or pamphlet form is also available.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Goulash all round: Linked Data at NSZL

I meant to blog about this as soon as the news emerged in mid-April but University bureaucracy and research project demands prevented it: Adam Horvath (Director of Informatics) at the The National Széchényi Library (NSZL) (or National Library of Hungary, if you prefer) announced on the Semantic Web Linking Open Data Project email list that the NSZL have exposed their entire OPAC and digital library as Linked Data - that's correct, their entire OPAC and digital library has been published as Linked Data. This includes corresponding authority data, with all nodes represented using Cool URIs.

The RDF vocabularies used include Dublin Core RDF for bibliographic metadata, SKOS for subject indexing (in a variety of terminologies) and FOAF for name authority data. Incredible! Not only that, the FOAF descriptions include mapped owl:sameAs statements to corresponding dbpedia URIs. For example, here is FOAF data pertaining to Hungarian novelist, Jókai Mór:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<foaf:Person rdf:about="">
<foaf:name>Jókai Mór (1825-1904)</foaf:name>
<foaf:name>Mór Jókai</foaf:name>
<foaf:name>Jókai Mór</foaf:name>
<owl:sameAs rdf:resource=""/>

Visit the above noted dbpedia data for fun.

Rich SKOS data is also available for a local information retrieval thesaurus. Follow this link for an example of the skos:prefLabel ' magyar irodalom'.

It's a herculean effort from the NSZL which must be commended. And before the Germans did it too! Goulash all round to celebrate - and a photograph of the Hungarian Parliament, methinks.