The Linked Data Research Centre (LiDRC) is one of DERI's research centres, a cross-unit operating effort to bundle activities around linked data, appointed to drive and lead the linked data research and development.
We focus on researching linked data issues, from publishing linked data over consumption to applications (learn more about our four main research themes ...). The work we do is not performed in a vacuum, but in cooperation with other peers research groups. Finally, we not only research linked data, but also outreach and educate (see services).
What is Linked Data?
Linked data is based on four simple principles:
- We use URIs to name things; not only documents, but also people, locations, concepts, etc.
- To enable agents (human users and machine agents alike) to look up those names, we use HTTP URIs.
- When someone looks up a URI we provide useful information; with 'useful' in the strict sense we usually mean structured data in RDF.
- Finally, we include links to other URIs allowing agents to discover more things. This is often called follow-your-nose.
Open Linked Data
Back in 2007 the Linking Open Data community project started within W3C to make data freely available to everyone, based on the linked data principles outlined above.
To date there are already over 100 open data sets available on the Web, include Wikipedia, Geonames, MusicBrainz, etc., collectively providing over 4.7 billion RDF triples, interlinked by approximately 142 million RDF links (as of May 2009).
The linked data movement is a grass-root approach to realise the Web of Data. The linked data community is actively developing the field in organising events, publishing and providing tools and educational material. The LiDRC is very actively participating in the community, hosting and organising events, as well as providing resources.