Tuesday, April 26, 2011

TopBraid Composer's Web Data Basket: Collecting Linked Data while you browse

One of the little new features in TopBraid Composer 3.5 is the Web Data Basket view. This can be used to incrementally download Linked Data (either RDFa or RDF) while browsing the web. The best way to experience this is by getting a small TBC Firefox extension. This will add a tiny TopBraid button to the lower right corner of your browser.
Click on this button while TopBraid Composer is executing, and all RDF data encoded on the currently visited page will be added to TBC's Web Data Basket:

While this Basket displays the raw triples, it also has options to add the loaded triples into the current model. For example, you will get a proper foaf:Person for David Bowie if you visit his DBpedia page:

In order to facilitate the use of this data, TopBraid Composer will automatically add missing imports to namespaces such as foaf and skos. When you follow a hyperlink in your web browser, the basket will get more content. This means that the system will accumulate any Linked Data into TopBraid as you navigate through the web.

This little Web Data Basket makes it easy to collect Linked Data without having to leave your favorite tools. I think it provides a fine example of how Linked Data could be used, e.g. to build up a shopping list of products backed with GoodRelations data.


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