Linked data and the lighthouse

From my colleague at CSU (thanks Rachel), a link to a talk by Tim Berners-Lee, the man credited with creating the Web, at a conference. Berners-Lee’s talk  on this short (16 min) video is all about Linked Data and the basis of his argument is that there is too much data which sits on the databases of organisations, government and ordinary people but which is not made available on the web and therefore, cannot be linked. He gives examples of medical research where linked data might allow researchers or ordinary people to ask questions which can’t be answered by your favourite search engine. It’s an interesting concept and if it works, could make the web an even richer source of ideas, concepts and information. Of course, data held by many organisations is viewed as commercially sensitive, so don’t think that overnight your favourite soft drinks company is going to reveal its secrets or that George Soros is going to tell us how he makes his millions. On the other hand, if even some of the information held in databases is put on to the web, we might all benefit.

Out for a walk on Sunday and went around Barns Ness Lighthouse which is only a couple of miles (or 3.3km) from where I live. The lighthouse no longer functions as a light house, in that the light was switched off a few years ago because the improvements in ships’/boats’ navigational systems improved so much. One of the great things to do when the light did work was to drive out to the lighthouse in the dark and stand under the light as it flashed over the sea. As you can see from my picture below, it is an impressive site and when you look to the top of the lighthouse, your eyes are drawn to the often complex array of clouds that pass by. It’s one of these walks that is never the same because of the changing tide and the wind, or if you’re lucky, lack of it.

Barns Ness Lighthouse

Barns Ness Lighthouse

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