Tuesday, January 11, 2011

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

Register now for NISO's February webinar: "Back From the Endangered List:
Using Authority Data to Enhance the Semantic Web," to be held on February 9
from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. (Eastern).


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 this webinar to learn about the
amazing services that can result when the rich data included in name
authority files, and other standardized vocabularies are linked via the
Semantic Web.


. Linking Things and the Virtual International Authority File - Jeff Young,
Software Architect, OCLC Research
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.

. Authorities as Linked Data Hubs - Richard Wallis, Technology Evangelist,
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.

. The Getty Vocabularies: 'Non-Authoritarian' Authority Files for Art,
Architecture, and Material Culture - Murtha Baca, Head, Digital Art History
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 (AATR), Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGNR), and Union List
of Artist Names (ULANR) 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 CONAT
(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.


Registration is per site (defined as access for one computer). NISO and
NASIG members may register at a discounted rate. A student discount is also
available. Can't make it on the scheduled date or time? Registrants receive
access to the recorded version for one year, which can be viewed at your

For more information or to register, visit the event webpage:

Cynthia Hodgson
NISO Technical Editor Consultant
National Information Standards Organization
Email: chodgson@niso.org
Phone: 301-654-2512