Linked Open Data in brief
This page addresses the most important points of the Linked Open Data pilot.
Why is Linked Open Data important for Europeana and its community?
Linked Data offers many opportunities to the cultural sector, as suggested in the recent reports from the W3C Library Linked Data incubator group and our own animation.
Releasing Europeana metadata as Linked Open Data is an important step for Europeana, its partners and third parties. Linked Open Data has a key role in the Europeana Strategic Plan 2011-2015 and supports the idea that Europeana 'distributes' content and 'engages' its users:
- Distribute: the pilot will allow Europeana to distribute the cultural heritage content, in order to ‘Make their heritage available to users wherever they are, whenever they want it'.
- Engage: it will also enhance the engagement of the different communities represented by Europeana's content by allowing re-use and connectivity.
How can data.europeana.eu contribute to these goals ?
First, Linked Data is a data-publishing technique that enables related data to be connected and makes it easily accessible using common Web technologies. See this White Paper for further discussion on the scientific interest of Linked Data for the Europeana community.
Second, Linked Open Data realises this in an open manner, where everyone can access, re-use, enrich and share the data published. See this business document for further explanation on why Europeana and its partners should open the metadata they gather from all around Europe, and the Support for open data section of our site for general information on Europeana's efforts. You may also be interested in this paper at Museum & the Web that gives interesting context and pointers to current Linked Open Data developments.
W3C Library Linked Data report
Strategic Plan 2011-2015
Europeana White Paper 1
Open Linked Data and Europeana
What does our Linked Open Data look like?
The data served by data.europeana.eu is generated from the metadata Europeana has harvested using the Europeana Semantic Elements (ESE). To make this data amenable to Linked Data publishing, we have converted it to the Resource Description Framework (RDF) format, and structured it using the Europeana Data Model (EDM). We give more detail on the EDM data we publish on the technical details page.
In addition to the original data harvested by Europeana from its data providers, the data served at data.europeana.eu includes:
- links to other Linked Open Data services which hold information about objects that are also served by data.europeana.eu: for the moment this only concerns the Swedish cultural heritage aggregator (SOCH)
- semantic enrichment done at the Europeana Office, connecting Europeana objects to structured representations of places (using GeoNames), concepts (using the GEMET thesaurus), people (using DBpedia) and time periods(from an adhoc time period vocabulary).
How can you access, use and contribute to Europeana's Linked Open Data?
As this project is about engaging users from different communities, we've made sure that data from the pilot can be accessed, re-used, enriched and shared by everyone.
data.europeana.eu is serving metadata following the terms of the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.
File dumps of the RDF data are available on the datasets page. You can also fetch a subset of this data over the HTTP protocol, using established Linked Data recipes, most notably the use of HTTP URIs as identifiers and entry points into data. Here are some examples of these data.europeana.eu resources:
- http://data.europeana.eu/item/92037/25F9104787668C4B5148BE8E5AB8DBEF5BE5FE03 refers to a real-world object for which digital resources are available through Europeana (access data)
- http://data.europeana.eu/aggregation/provider/92037/25F9104787668C4B5148BE8E5AB8DBEF5BE5FE03 links to the digital resources submitted on that object by its provider, and gives meta-information on the digital resource aggregation process, e.g., the name of the data provider (raw data)
- http://data.europeana.eu/proxy/provider/92037/25F9104787668C4B5148BE8E5AB8DBEF5BE5FE03 gives all the data that applies to the real-world object, from the perspective of the Europeana provider (raw data)
- http://data.europeana.eu/proxy/europeana/92037/25F9104787668C4B5148BE8E5AB8DBEF5BE5FE03 gives all the data that applies to the real-world object, from the perspective of Europeana. This is the resource to which Europeana semantic enrichments are attached (raw data)
- http://data.europeana.eu/aggregation/europeana/92037/25F9104787668C4B5148BE8E5AB8DBEF5BE5FE03 links to the digital resources maintained by Europeana for the object, and gives meta-information on the data aggregation process, which is created by Europeana (raw data)
- http://data.europeana.eu/item/91622/1BF8BC466E65367929379C83FC639F27961ACD18 is an object for which the Swedish Open Cultural Heritage also provides its own Linked Open Data representation (raw data)
We also provide the datasets as file dumps of the RDF data at http://pro.europeana.eu/datasets.
How can you contribute?
If you are a Europeana data provider, you don't need to submit your data again to Europeana. Once the Data Exchange Agreement (DEA) has been signed, we just fetch the metadata Europeana has already gathered. For technical reasons, we cannot continuously update the dataset we serve, but we plan to release batch updates, making all new datasets available at once.
Finally, the most crucial way to contribute to data.europeana.eu is to make it useful for yourself! We hope that this pilot can be of benefit to you, even if it does not include the entire Europeana dataset. If you are using the data made available here, please tell us. Simple declarations of interest or letters of support are also welcome. We appreciate any contribution that supports our goal of releasing more Europeana metadata as Linked Open Data.