Sharing Linked Data Queries With Mortals…

So I know, I know, I b****y well know how important the whole RDF thing is for Linked Data, and I know we’re not there yet with respect to actual people using data pulled from data.gov.* sources, and I’m starting to be persuaded that maybe data.gov.uk is only there to feed the growth of semantic web developer capacity but ultimately, ultimately, it will probably be folk who can’t cope with anything other than a spreadsheet who are going to have to use this data…

…so the spirit in which this is offered is one of just trying to protect the interests of potential future end users while the geeky tech developer astronauts (astronauts being @iand’s term;-) do the groundwork’n’spadework and make design decisions whose full impact may not otherwise be realised for a little while yet…

So what am I offering…? A quick’n’dirty way of sharing bookmarks into the sparqlproxy Web Service that I posted about in Viewing SPARQLed data.gov.uk Data in a Google Spreadsheet.

So how does it work? Like this…

The geeky tech SPARQL speaking astronaut writes their SPAQRL query and posts it into codepad:

They grab the link to the raw text and bookmark it in delicious; the SPARQL endpoint for the query is pasted into the description, and a brief description of the query into the title; the required output is identified using an output: machine tag (e.g. output:, output:sparql, output:html, output:csv, output:xml, output:exhibit or output:gvds):

(An alternative might be to have the endpoint as the title, and the description as the description, or a brief description as a title, a full description asa description, and a endpoint: “machine tag” for the endpoint, but this was just a proof of concept, right? ;-)

The following pipe constructs the SPARQLProxy query for each bookmark using the specified query, endpoint and output type (at the moment, the pipe also requires a sparqlproxy_demo tag to be present):

A link to the result of the query, suitably transformed, is then rewritten as the link in the output feed.

A bit of tidying up on the pipe lets you specify a delicious user and/or tag as the origin of the bookmarked links…

So there we have it, an easy way to share SPARQLed queries and get access to “human usable” outputs…

PS there’s no reason, in the recipe above, not to also use the sparql endpoint URI in a tag or machine tag too, to allow for queries run over the same bookmark to be collected together and pulled out of delicious by tag/endpoint…

Author: Tony Hirst

I'm a Senior Lecturer at The Open University, with an interest in #opendata policy and practice, as well as general web tinkering...

2 thoughts on “Sharing Linked Data Queries With Mortals…”

  1. Very very nice!

    This is actually exactly the kind of way that I imagine linked data becoming more important and usable — astronauts like Ian doing lots of high-level stuff, people who wish they had packed their parachutes before jumping out of the plane like me gathering/scraping data or writing small ontologies, and rock stars like you finding the new, quick ways to make it quickly usable.

    That’s the kind of ecosystem of development that I think is really healthy — lots of ontology-vores, design-vores, consumer-vores, human-usable-vores, etc. all feeding off the basic flora of RDF and each other, of course, but I mean that in a good way! :) . I just hope to see more UI-vores moving into the territory soon.

    OM-NOM-NOM-NOM!
    Patrick

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