Linked Data's Follow-Your-Nose Pattern

The most basic unit of Linked Data value is the hyperlink. The most powerful aspect of hyperlinks is their ability deliver combined denotation (naming) and access (de-reference) services for data objects that represent entities (real-world, web, and other realms).

Recently, Worldcat joined the ever growing pool of organizations publishing Linked Data, thus I've opted to use hyperlinks associated with their effort to demonstrate the follow-your-nose pattern.

Hyperlink (URI/URL) pattern for our URIBurner service: <{URI}>.

The pattern above produces a hyperlink that returns a document that describes what's denoted (named) by {URI}. The content of the document takes the form of fine-grained structured data (human and machine discernible) represented using entity-attribute-value or subject-predicate-object based triples (3-tuples, triads, or 3 column records). 

If the page returned by URIBurner is empty, simply click on the "Sponge" link which triggers the execution a data retrieval command, via the HTTP protocol (aka. an HTTP GET). 

Note/Remember: whenever you click on a hyperlink your browser invokes an HTTP GET.


Here's a simple step-by guide using the Worldcat Hyperlink that denotes Apple Computer: <> .

Cut and Paste the following (verbatim) into your browser: .

Follow hyperlink values for attributes such as: 'has exact match', 'focus' etc.

If you encounter an empty page, simply click on the "Sponge" link .

If you are curious about the definitions of any of the properties or classes, simply click on the hyperlinks associated with either.

Repeat with any hyperlink based identifier associated with query results from: .


Linked Data is a "deceptively simple" solution to the age-old challenge of data access by reference. Its elegance stems from the fact that hyperlinks permeate the entire data life cycle which includes:

1. data object identity
2. data object representation
3. data object access -- this occurs RESTfully 
4. data integration
5. data dissemination .

Linked Data addresses data oriented challenges that are insurmountable via the platform specific likes of ODBC, JDBC, OLE-DB, ADO.NET, JDO etc... Of course, it compliments all of the aforementioned in very powerful ways.


1. -- Understanding Data Objects
2. -- Linked Data Generation & Exploration Service for Web Resources
3. -- various posts about Linked Data and ODBC. 

#OCLC   #BigData   #LinkedData   #SemanticWeb   #Web30   #HTTP   #REST     #ODBC  
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