WorldCat Linked Data Made More Easily Available to Software

You may recall that a while back we announced that linked data had been added to web pages. If you scroll down when viewing a single record you can reveal a “Linked Data” section of the page that is human readable and also “scrapable” via software.

However, it is much easier for software to request a structured data version that does not contain all of the other HTML markup of the page. The best way to do this is through something called “content negotiation”. Basically it enables a requestor (that is, a software program) to send a request that also tells the web server which format is required. For example, if you want a representation of the data in the Javascript Standard Notation (JSON) format, which many software developers use, then you could issue a command such as this:

curl -L -H “Accept: application/ld+json”

And that is what you would get in return. Alternatively, you could simply request that format by using the appropriate filename extension:

Formats supported include RDF XML, JSON, and Turtle. Richard Wallis has written a more thorough description of this that can be very helpful in understanding how best to use this new service.

These changes make it much easier and faster to get the data a developer requires into their application in a highly usable way. We can’t wait to see what they do with it.