CanLink: Linked Open Theses


CanaLien : un projet de données liées pour les thèses Canadiennes - CanLink : a linked data project for Canadian theses is now online!

CanLink is a collection of thesis data from collaborating institutions part of the Canadian Linked Data Initiative. It features over 5,000 theses from participating Canadian universities[1] on a broad range of topics, from "post-humans" to "mechano-electric feedback" with new theses being added on an ongoing basis. The project is an initiative of the Digital Projects committee of the Canadian Linked Data Initiative with the development work done by Sharon Farnel, Rob Warren and Maharsh Patel[2].

The data set is described in void / dcat format and is also registered in the Data Hub. The virtual machine is provided by West Grid and the domain name is provided by the University of Alberta.

Posted By warren read more

Print your own Battlefield


The Muninn Project aims to programmatically recreate scenes of historical events using Linked Open Data - and with the ever-increasing availability of high-quality 3D printers, we are motivated to 3D-print these scenes. In this particular post, we will talk about how to 3D-print a battlefield: the trenches of Vimy Ridge. We believe that 3D-printed models of battlefields, such as the trenches of Vimy Ridge, could be quite useful to archeologists & other individuals studying past historical events, namely the Battle of Vimy Ridge. We will discuss how to retrieve 90m-resolution elevation data inside a bounding box from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM), how to scale & project it with the Geospatial Data Abstraction Library (GDAL) and also how to convert it to an STL file that can be 3D-printed; we will also discuss how to retrieve lists of trench coordinates from the Muninn Project's SPARQL server, and how to extrude trenches on our model of Vimy Ridge before 3D-printing it. Lastly, we will discuss issues regarding the size & resolution of our model of Vimy Ridge and suggest how we might improve the quality of our model in the future. Thanks to Lawrence Willett for letting us use his 3D printer.

Posted By m4farrel read more

Why you need a SPARQL server


The original title to this blog post was supposed to be "Hardening SPARQL Servers in the wild". But I've since changed it to "Why you need a SPARQL server" after reading a number of articles critical of SPARQL while at the same time juggling RDF/OWL sources without SPARQL stores and a multitude of APIs. The benefits of having a machine readable export format is gaining traction with data providers as a data-delivery model. However, the lack of support for search and discovery is still hampering data-delivery.

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SPARQL and Linked Open Data


After a few hiccups with the SPARQL database and the web front end, the Muninn website will be undergoing some major re-work. I'll update this blog post as the new interface features go online. Update: Feb 23, 2012 - The SPARQL server at is answering queries.

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