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What is Linked Open Data?

Linked Open Data is gaining traction in the information world – but remains a concept difficult to comprehend for non-technical users.  Europeana recently launched a new web page to explain what it is and why it’s a good thing, both for users and for data providers.

Linked Open Data – What is it? from Europeana on Vimeo.

At EUscreen, we’re avid supporters of this open way of semantically connecting the web:

  • check out our demo page, where you can  Sound and Vision developer Jaap Blom’s timeline visualisation of the EUscreen dataset
  • scroll through our expanded list of relevant sources on Open Cultural Data
  • expand your technical grasp of how Linked Open Data is implemented on our LOD page

Europeana and Linked Open Data

Europeana facilitates developments in Linked Open Data by publishing data for 2.4 million objects for the first time under an open metadata licence – CC0, the Creative Commons’ Public Domain Dedication. The concept of Linked Open Data is attracting Europe’s major national libraries: the Bibliothèque nationale de France recently launched its rich linked data resource, while the national libraries of the UK, Germany and Spain, among many other cultural institutions, have been publishing their metadata under an open licence.

Support for Open Data innovation is at the root of Europeana’s new Data Exchange Agreement, the contract that libraries, museums, and archives agree to when their metadata goes into Europeana. The Data Exchange Agreement has been signed by all the national libraries, by leading national museums such as the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, and by many of the content providers for entire countries, such as Sweden’s National Heritage Board. The new Data Exchange Agreement dedicates the metadata to the Public Domain and comes into effect on 1 July 2012, after which all metadata in Europeana will be available as Open Data.

Europeana is making data openly available to the public and private sectors alike so they can use it to develop of innovative applications for smartphones and tablets and to create new web services and portals. This support for commercial enterprise in the digital sector is central to Europeana’s business strategy. Metadata that is openly available is re-usable by anyone. Linked to external data sources, such as GeoNames, it’s enriched and can also be re-used by its providers as the basis of improved services to users.