Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Linked Data for News - An Update on IPTC and Semantic Web Technologies

At the IPTC's most recent face-to-face meeting in Dubai, much of the discussions revolved around Semantic Web technologies. The big news was that the IPTC voted to approve Draft 0.1 of rNews, but this wasn't the only matter discussed.

As I blogged about before, the news standards body has been looking at three areas and how they relate to news:

I chair the IPTC's SemWeb group. Here is the first in a short series of posts on where each of these areas stand and how you can get involved.

The Semantic Web
Semantic Web technologies extend today's web with machine readable information and links between data and services. The "Semantic Web" has also been termed "The Giant Global Graph" and "Web 3.0", amongst other names; there are several different theories about exactly what it is and exactly how to get there.

IPTC News Codes using Linked Data
The IPTC has explored the technical aspects of representing news codes using the technologies and conventions of Linked Data.
Link by manel
Linked Data is a set of best practices for publishing data using a subset of Semantic Web technologies. The IPTC News Codes are a set of metadata taxonomies designed for use by the news industry. The codes are already expressed in machine-readable XML, using IPTC's in G2 KnowledgeItem mechanism; it seemed a natural fit to explore expressing the news codes using the Linked Data principles.

Inspired by this IPTC work, MINDS (an association of European and US news agencies) and the IPTC have been mulling a joint project based on Linked Data for news. At the Dubai meeting, I reviewed the presentation I gave in February 2011 to MINDS about IPTC's Semantic Web and Linked Data work. There's a MINDS meeting in London the week of March 14th, so I expect we will learn more about any joint work.

The Chain by intherough
If you'd like to access the IPTC news codes in SKOS (not to mention XHTML and G2) then visit and find out more about their full content-negotiation glory.

Get Involved
You can get involved with the news codes work by contacting the IPTC; one easy way to do that is to join the news codes Yahoo! email list.