What is RDF?

What can this simple standardized model do for you?

I have usually assumed that people reading this blog already know what RDF is. After recent discussions with people coming to RDF from the Linked (Open) Data and Knowledge Graph worlds, I realized that it would be useful to have a simple explanation that I could point to. This builds on material from the first three minutes of my video SPARQL in 11 Minutes.

At one point in the semantic technologies track of last week’s XML Summer School, I showed a little application I wrote where you enter the names of two film directors on a form, click the search button, and then see a list of all actors who’ve been in movies by both directors. The form calls a CGI script that creates a short SPARQL query, runs it, and generates an HTML page of the results. You can read more about it in the developerWorks article Build Wikipedia query forms with…

Big legal publishers and semantic web technology

Which one will see the good fit first?

A recent @TopQuadrant tweet about legal knowledge and RDF/XML led me to Dr. Adam Wyner’s piece Legal Ontologies Spin a Semantic Web on After reading it, I wanted to leave a comment, but this required registering on and telling them lots of details about the law firm I work for. I don’t work for a law firm, so I’m just putting my comments here and expanding on them a bit.

Writing about the Semantic Web

And Linked Data, and RDF, and RDFa, and SPARQL, and OWL, and...

After writing a few paid articles and doing a lot of blogging about various issues, features, and trends surrounding the Semantic Web, Linked Data, RDF, RDFa, SPARQL, OWL, and related tools and implementations, I thought it would be nice if I could tie them together into something resembling a cohesive whole. So, I wrote a short essay titled RDF, The Semantic Web, and Linked Data with over 70 footnote links to these various pieces. It will be a handy reference for me in the future, and I hope it…

Semantic web technology and humanities research

A Canadian historian uses semantic web technology to do interesting research and to lay the groundwork for others to do so.

I’ve attended and given a few Scholar’s Lab talks at the nearby University of Virginia, and I’m kicking myself for missing a recent talk by Mount Allison University’s Bruce Robertson, whose field at Mount Allison is ancient Greek and Roman history. (A podcast of his Scholars Lab talk is available here.) He’s the main guy behind the Historical Event Markup Linking Project (HEML) and apparently even the people who brought him to UVa to give his recent talk were…