Good libraries are community-minded, technologically-aware, devoted to increasing access to information, and interested in preserving the local cultural heritage. Good newspapers aggregate and curate information for their readers, prioritize the local population, and are the record of a place, a time, a citizenry. Both believe they must tell stories for everyone, not just themselves.
Libraries have experience with media production, and are already a known community resource. Supporting communication within their community falls within the library’s mandate to increase access to information. Building on the “maker” ethic, how can libraries help their communities make their own news, write their own stories, publish their own histories?
12% of U.S. adults currently own an e-reader; Hispanics are the largest demographic in that group with 15% owning an e-reader. Though there are many Spanish-language options available for this reading community, mainstream offerings still cater to a largely English language community. Smithsonian Institution Libraries (SIL), as part of its efforts to move beyond page image presentation of library content, is making a focused effort to bring quality, scholarly and other materials in Spanish to the e-reading community. With a grass-roots effort to identify appropriate materials, SIL hopes to build a space where there are "Libros digitales para todos".
The Internet today consists of a morass of partial and redundant content: the ~17m businesses and POI in the US, for example, are duplicated over 1.2 billion website across over 5 million domains. This tangle of duplicate, fragmentary, and often incorrect information ensures that unequivocally identifying a person, place or thing on the Internet will always be a challenge. The members of this panel are working to fix this, and will discuss their projects in the Library, Government, and Big Data sectors to create an Internet where real-world people, places, and things can be referenced unambiguously. It focuses on pragmatic, real-world examples: the panelists from Factual, the Sunlight Foundation, Jetpac, and the Internet Archive each highlight their specific experiences in creating platforms and apps that identify and disambiguate individual entities across applications and verticals, and describe both the pitfalls and benefits of working towards an Internet of Entities.
What happens when tens of thousands of archival photos are shared with open licenses, then mashed up with geolocation data and current photos? Or when app developers can freely utilize information and images from millions of books? On this panel, we'll explore the fundamental elements of Linked Open Data and discover how rapidly growing access to metadata within the world's libraries, archives and museums is opening exciting new possibilities for understanding our past, and may help in predicting our future. Our panelists will look into the technological underpinnings of Linked Open Data, demonstrate use cases and applications, and consider the possibilities of such data for scholarly research, preservation, commercial interests, and the future of cultural heritage data.
9th–13th March 2012