Linked Data and other Capitalized Terms

The first item that I read for today was the .pdf which covered the ways in which queries are executed in the various languages that are currently available. CouchDB seems to be an easy-to-understand means through which one might venture to create and search a database without the use of SQL, which happens to be the way that large-scale search engines like Google operate. I found this information to be interesting, useful, and completely accessible given the images and context. Also, the .pdf is HUGE—I’m relieved that we were only covering a short portion of the document. It gives examples of the various languages that are covered and was clearly written with students, and professionals, in mind.

The second article on linked data was no less interesting, but perhaps a little more difficult in terms of accessibility. The concept of Linked Data on the Web is pretty ambitious but reminds me very much of the way in which people make connections neurologically. Associating various “real-world entities,” to use a term from the article, with a field of tangentially related items is exciting because it mirrors the process that we use to create meaning and understand the world—only this variety of data is on a much larger scale and is operating at speeds previously unthinkable (literally[!]). The concept, again, is an exciting prospect, but I did feel at times left out of the conversation by the esoteric, technical terminology implemented. I’m sure that the authors of this article had a slightly different audience in mind than a graduate student like me, and it showed, which is by no means a criticism. I simply found this bit of information slightly less accessible than the previously discussed excerpt. That said, this also seems a fitting wrap-up to the conversation that has taken place within this course up to this point. All of the points connect. Huzzah!

While it was slightly difficult to navigate the terminology used to describe structured data on the Web, it brought to mind phenomena that already occur—I’m looking at you tailored advertising on Facebook, related videos on YouTube, and the like. With Linked Data, I pictured myself subjected even further down the proverbial rabbit hole of available and related information that one might experience, say, while cruising the interweb highways of Wiki pages. But, of course, it’s different than standard hypertext links. I’m interested in the concept, again, because I feel that it mirrors the way in which human beings think, but I’m also curious as to how this Linked Data apparatus might be used to benefit the classroom and further the conversation. Query based intellectual activity is fascinating and this type of field would be ripe for such an endeavor, no doubt.