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Linked Data Service of the German National Library

Developments in the area of the Semantic Web are aimed at improving the usefulness and accessibility of data. The idea of the Semantic Web also allows links to be created between data from heterogeneous sources, leading in turn to the establishment of new services. As a result of the linked-data movement, many providers (mostly non-profit organisations, universities or public institutions) are already offering their data in a form which is Semantic-Web-compatible. Above all, this includes data which is of general use within the public domain. Examples include geographical information, thesauri, encyclopaedias as well as bibliographic and authority data.

Libraries, too, have recognised the great potential offered by this form of data publication. The first institutions are already actively offering their information as Linked Data, or are planning to do so. The German National Library is committed to making a significant contribution to ensuring the stability and reliability of the "Linked-Data-Cloud" by providing data which has largely been generated and maintained by trained professionals. The German National Library with its high quality data intends to become one of the mainstays of the Semantic Web.

In the long term the German National Library is planning to offer a Linked Data Service which will permit the Semantic Web community to use the entire stock of its national bibliographic data, including all authority data. A suitable data service needs to be created to distribute the new data format alongside the already established access channels (OAI, SRU etc.).

One of the aims of the service will be to attract new target groups and accordingly it is important for the project to analyse their requirements in detail, making contact with them in order to identify their precise needs. The proposal, therefore, is to launch a service which is based primarily on past experience and users requirements. The service described in this documentation is aimed at establishing an initial partnership with this new clientele as a means of sounding out each other's views. In the medium-term, the target groups will be expanded to include commercial service providers such as operators of search engines and knowledge management systems alongside research institutions and non-profit organisations. The German National Library is endeavouring to make a significant contribution to the global information infrastructure with its new data service by laying the foundations for modern commercial and non-commercial web services.

The German National Library collaborates with the Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative.

The authority files of the German-speaking countries, Gemeinsame Normdatei (GND), and the bibliographic data in the Linked Data Service will fall under the Creative Commons Zero (CCO) license with immediate effect.
As of the end of January 2014 some geographical authority records contain unchanged coordinates from the database GeoNames.

The software metafacture is used to convert the data to RDF. Metafacture was developed by culturegraph.org.

Test data in RDF/XML representation are available for free in the catalogue of the German National Library under the menu item "Aktionen" or in the Data Shop.

Last update: 16.9.2014

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