[tdwg-tag] Another reason why RDF is cool

Roderic Page r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk
Wed Sep 20 16:44:01 CEST 2006

I know that there is some scepticism about RDF, so I thought I'd relate  
an experience I had yesterday at The Natural History Museum in London.  
A colleague of mine has often complained about how hard it is to get  
his data (and data others have) into a useful form for the web, and  
that efforts such as the Semantic Web only seem to make this harder.

So, as an experiment, I attempted to get some information about an ant  
image into a local triple store. This involved putting some triples in  
a table using EditGrid (an online spreadsheet), grabbing the XML,  
converting it to RDF, and importing that into the triple store. See  
here for details:  

The bottom line is that it was trivially easy to go from a spreadsheet  
to a triple store, and hence add new information about this ant.  
Writing it up in the blog took as long as the actual work.

This particular example concerns one image harvested from the web.  
Things like adding distribution records in bulk would be even easier.

So, my question is this: is there anything other than RDF that can make  
this as straightforward as it is? If so, I'd love to hear it...



Professor Roderic D. M. Page
Editor, Systematic Biology
Graham Kerr Building
University of Glasgow
Glasgow G12 8QP
United Kingdom

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