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Case study: Use of Semantic Web Technologies on the BBC Web Sites

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Tom Scott | 13:00 UK time, Tuesday, 2 February 2010

nathistdomainmapped_600.pngThe BBC has long been an advocate of Linked Data, an approach to using the Web to connect related data, or as Wikipedia puts it "a term used to describe a recommended best practice for exposing, sharing, and connecting pieces of data, information, and knowledge on the Semantic Web using URIs and RDF."

Anyway W3C has just published a Case Study: Use of Semantic Web Technologies on the BBC Web Sites.

If you are interested in a bit more background to our work you might be interested the presentation Nick Humfrey and I gave at XTech back in 2008 entitled 'The Programmes ontology'

Or the subsequent work to make BBC Music available as linked data, quite a lot has been written. Both Matthew Shorter and I blogged about it at it's launch (The all new BBC music site where programmes meet music and the semantic web and BBC Music Artist Pages Beta) and ReadWriteWeb recently featured it here.

Patrick Sinclair's also gave a great presentation of our work to date at last years 1st W3C Brazil Web Conference and I spoke at the 20th anniversary of the Web celebrations at CERN on making computers human literate.

Finally if you would like to develop your own site along similar principles a good place to start is Michael Smethurst post 'how we make websites' which details the process we've used to deliver bbc.co.uk/programmes, bbc.co.uk/music and bbc.co.uk/wildlifefinder.

Caption: "By using DBpedia as a controlled vocabulary we are able to tag our programmes (or clips from them) and news stories with DBpedia URIs so that we can mesh-up content across the BBC to create new journeys across bbc.co.uk," writes Tom Scott.


Tom Scott is Executive Product Manager, BBC.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    I love the technology and the clever applications of it, but...

    "By using DBpedia as a controlled vocabulary we are able to tag our programmes (or clips from them) and news stories with DBpedia URIs so that we can mesh-up content across the BBC to create new journeys across bbc.co.uk"

    ...does nobody speak English any more?

    "mesh-up content" and "journeys across bbc.co.uk"? Is this Birtspeak 3.0?

  • Comment number 2.

    "or as Wikipedia puts it "a term used ... ."
    The link used http://en.wikipedia.org/ does not illustrate or link to the quotation merely to Wikipedia.

    :-) Not the best linked data

  • Comment number 3.

    "...does nobody speak English any more"

    Sometimes new words ARE needed when new technologies are developed.

    Here is a breakdown:

    "By using DBpedia as a controlled vocabulary"
    DBpedia is a community effort to take structured information from Wikipedia and make this information available on the Web.

    By using this the BBC is able to make sure words used to describe content come from a common set of terms - so they don't end up with five words used on six sites that are all trying to describe the same thing.

    "mesh-up content across the BBC to create new journeys across bbc.co.uk"

    I'm guessing here mesh-up is a typo/another term for mash-up - to combine, bring together, merge content from different places to create something new.

    Mashing flour, water, yeast, salt and sugar to create a pizza dough for example.

    The creating user journeys across bbc.co.uk basically means links around words so that when you click on that word you can get to other BBC pages talking about, writing about the same thing - creating a journey.

  • Comment number 4.

    #3. At 3:51pm on 02 Feb 2010, Up Your Ego wrote:

    "...does nobody speak English any more"

    Sometimes new words ARE needed when new technologies are developed. ..//..


    Are they, your latter 'explanation' of what the original blog meant didn't actually need to use any new words to describe what was happening, just the current vocabulary. People accept that new names are needed for new technology, but one should (be able to) describe the function of the technology by using standard English. When first invented the silicon chip was given a descriptive name, the Integrated Circuit, because that is what it is, a number of intergrated circuits on a common piece of silicon, had the slang/short-hand term so common today been used from the outset many would have just though 'fish and chips'!... ;-)

  • Comment number 5.

    # 3:
    Meshups v Mashups. I checked with Tom that it wasn't a typo. It's not and here's a link that describes the differences:
    http://www.openlinksw.com/dataspace/kidehen@openlinksw.com/weblog/kidehen@openlinksw.com%27s%20BLOG%20%5B127%5D/1165

    # 2 Again I checked with Tom. The quote was originally from Wikipedia but as it turns out is no longer in Wikipedia's current definition (but is still an accurate description). I added the link to Wikipedia after Tom supplied copy so any confusion is down to me.

    Hope that helps,

    Paul

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