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What is 5 Star Linked Data?

As Internet based applications evolve, a new array of specifications are being developed and deployed.  The idea is that internet users will be able to develop new ‘semantic’, ‘internet aware’ functionality as easily or in a similar way to the use and evolution of HTML as the foundation for WWW.

An important aspect of these new specifications is the concept of using 5 Star Linked-Data.  So what is it?

As part of the evolving WWW design issues “Architectural and philosophical points” documentation; Tim Berners-lee describes the concept of  LinkedData.  Critical to the design is the use of RDF.

TimBL Describes 5-Star Linked Data in the following way

Available on the web (whatever format) but with an open licence, to be Open Data
★★ Available as machine-readable structured data (e.g. excel instead of image scan of a table)
★★★ as (2) plus non-proprietary format (e.g. CSV instead of excel)
★★★★ All the above plus, Use open standards from W3C (RDF and SPARQL) to identify things, so that people can point at your stuff
★★★★★ All the above, plus: Link your data to other people’s data to provide context


The 5 ★ Open Data site provides some good additional information to get started in understanding 5-star Linked Data.

The starting point for any application developer is perhaps to start understanding RDF. Useful resources can be found on the Linked-Data Github Repository and important related works include the Read Write Web, WebID, and a list of other related communities can be found here.

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