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Subject:

Linked data, how does it work with real data?

From:

"REYNOLDS, Trevor" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Museums Computer Group <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 15:32:40 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

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If I get this right, one of the advantages of linked data for me, could be that I would no longer have to maintain my own Places Authority file when we put our collections on-line.  Instead we could use someone else's?

Now let's look at some practical issues.

First London, within our own system we try to be clear on whether we mean the City of London, Greater London or the old London County Council Area.  What sort of information would one need in the Linked Data world in order to ensure that one matched up with the right London?  (and indeed not London. Ontario, London, Mississippi etc.).

For the second sort of object let us look at 79703652.121 an object in our collection described as a Geological Specimen from St Paul's Island.  Now there is a St Paul's Island in Malta but there are also - at least - St Paul Islands in (1) Nova Scotia, Canada (in the Gulf of St Lawrence). (2) Alaska, USA (in Priboff Islands). (3) Amsterdam and St Paul District, French Southern and Antarctic Lands.    Not knowing which of these four places our particular rock comes from we currently link it in our database to "St Paul's Island (unlocated place)" a record which has a note describing the confusions.  How would you deal with this sort or undefined data in the Linked Data world?

Trevor Reynolds
Registrar, English Heritage

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