Back From the Endangered List: Using Authority Data to Enhance the Semantic Web

Speaker Jeff Young, Richard Wallis, and Murtha Baca
Jeff Young is a Software Architect for the OCLC Office of Research. He has worked at OCLC since 1987 and in the Office of Research since 1996. He holds a B.S. (Computer Science) from Ohio State and M.L.S from Kent State. Current research interests include web services, interoperability, and authority ...

Jeff Young is a Software Architect for the OCLC Office of Research. He has worked at OCLC since 1987 and in the Office of Research since 1996. He holds a B.S. (Computer Science) from Ohio State and M.L.S from Kent State. Current research interests include web services, interoperability, and authority control.

Richard Wallis is a Technology Evangelist for Talis, a UK-based provider of library systems.  Wallis has been ‘in at the birth’ of several major Library System Developments, as architect, research and technical lead. More recently as Technology Evangelist he has been at the forefront in promoting, explaining, and applying new and emerging Web and Semantic Web technologies in the library and information domain.

Murtha Baca is Head of Digital Art History Access at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. Her publications include Introduction to Metadata (revised edition, 2008) and Introduction to Art Image Access (2002). Dr. Baca has taught workshops and seminars on metadata, visual resources cataloging, and thesaurus construction at museums, universities, and other organizations in North and South America and in Europe and Asia.

Full Description
Librarian use of authority files dates back to Callimachus and the Great Library of Alexandria around 300 BC. With the evolution of powerful computerized searching and retrieval systems, authority data appears to some to have outlived its usefulness. However, the Semantic Web provides an opportunity to use authority data to enable computers to search, aggregate, and combine information on the Web. Join us at METRO for this webinar screening and learn about the services that can result when the rich data included in name authority files, and other standardized vocabularies are linked via the Semantic Web.  This webinar will feature three speakers:

• Jeff Young, Software Architect, OCLC Research - "Linking Things and the Virtual International Authority File"
 Is "NISO" a "controlled access point" or an "organization"? Because different authority agencies disagree on the literal form of the “controlled access point”, the basis for associating them in VIAF must be through a more intuitive concept like “organization”, “person”, “place”, etc. Linked Data encourages us to assign HTTP URIs to these conceptualized resources and to describe them with existing ontologies (e.g. FOAF, SKOS, OWL) to further enhance their reuse outside the library community. With these Linked Data tools, VIAF and its contributors illustrate the potential interplay between centralized and decentralized interoperability of authority information.
• Richard Wallis, Technology Evangelist, Talis - "Authorities as Linked Data Hubs"
As the Web of Data appears, hubs of information are naturally forming. The Linked Data approach to publishing information is one of reuse and linking to others. It is no surprise therefore that DBpedia [Linked Data derived from Wikipedia] has become one of the most linked to hubs --- not because of the authority of Wikipedia data, but because of the reusable identifiers used to link it. In the same way governments are becoming hubs for identifying schools, locations, departments, laws, etc., the library community has the opportunity to become the respected source for identifiers in this world. What we collectively refer to as authorities have the potential [if published openly, simply, and soon] to become hubs for the linking of library and non-library information across the Web of Data. However, just encoding what we have in RDF and pushing it out there may not be enough. Applying Linked Data principles and approaching it from the data consumers' point of view will help the continuation of the centuries old library mission into a Semantic Web future.
• Murtha Baca, Head, Digital Art History Access, Getty Research Institute - "The Getty Vocabularies: 'Non-Authoritarian' Authority Files for Art, Architecture, and Material Culture"
For more than two decades, the Getty Vocabulary Program, a unit of the Getty Research Institute (GRI), has been building electronic thesauri containing structured terminology for art, architecture, decorative arts and other material culture, archival materials, visual surrogates, and bibliographic materials. Compliant with international standards, the Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT®), Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN®), and Union List of Artist Names (ULAN®) provide authoritative information for catalogers and researchers, and can be used to enhance search and retrieval in databases and Web sites. The Getty Vocabularies grow through contributions from their constituent communities. The Getty Vocabulary Program is a participant in VIAF. The newest Getty vocabulary, currently in development, is CONA™ (Cultural Objects Name Authority), a structured vocabulary containing authority records for cultural works, including architecture and movable works such as paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, manuscripts, photographs, textiles, ceramics, furniture, other visual media such as frescoes and architectural sculpture, performance art, archaeological artifacts, and various functional objects that are from the realm of material culture and of the type collected by museums.
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Organizer Laura Forshay


Wed, Feb. 9, 2011
1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. US/Eastern

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METRO Training Center (4th floor)
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