“…linked open data, or “LOD”, is a relatively simple concept. It refers to the practice of presenting, or ‘publishing’ data held in a database or information repository in a normalized and structured way. This is often done in a formal syntax known as Resource Description Framework (RDF), but it need not be. For a basic example, consider the book ‘Thinking, fast and slow‘ by Daniel Kahneman. A linked data approach to this title would produce statements representing bibliographic information as relationships: ‘Title’ is ‘Thinking, fast and slow’, and ‘Author’ is ‘Daniel Kahneman’. If this data was represented in RDF, it would look something like this output from Open Library. (Open Library will produce RDF for any title in its catalog; you can play with similar entries to your heart’s content).
“We have to make this a public investment [linked open data], perhaps one provided through the Digital Public Library of American [sic], so that all of us can benefit from these insights. Not just academic librarians, or online retailers: but you and me, seeing and making connections, contributing to our understanding of the world around us. That’s the new power of open.”
From Peter Brantley’s post on PWxyz, The new power of “open”