Linked Data – Tim Berners-Lee

Posted on November 9, 2009

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On the business side of life, there’s been an active discussion this weekend about a new initiative led by the National Association of Realtors called the REALTORS® Property Resource (RPR) which is designed to provide a national property data exchange for agents to provide to clients. Yes, snooze-fest if you’re not in the real estate industry. Our CEO does an excellent job describing the RPR project and its affect on the real estate industry.

On a personal level, the current industry discussion reminded me of a recent TED presentation by Tim Berners-Lee on Linked Data. As described on the TED website:

20 years ago, Tim Berners Lee invented the World Wide Web. For his next project, he’s building a web for open, linked data that could do for numbers what the Web did for words, pictures, video: unlock our data and reframe the way we use it together.

The first step to the Linked Data project is DBPedia, which is extracting data from Wikipedia to make it fully linked and available. A more detailed description about Linked Data is available from this PDF document.

This topic is of particular interest because our services and applications at Altos Research is to provide unique data and transparency to real estate market participants. Our service has been tepidly received by MLS Boards across the country because the level of information and transparency is far advanced beyond has historically been available. Berners-Lee discusses how luddites tend to hug their data in silos, refusing to share the data with others to advance market processes.