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Skip to 0 minutes and 6 secondsELENA SIMPERL: My name is Elena Simperl. I will be the lead educator of the course. I'm a computer science academic at Southampton. And I've been working in the semantic web and linked data area for more than 10 years now.

Skip to 0 minutes and 18 secondsBARRY NORTON: I'm Dr. Barry Norton. For the past 20 years, I've been involved with teaching and training on data-related technical topics. And for the past 10 years, I've concentrated on linked data and semantic web technologies. In the past few years, outside academia, I've been looking at applying linked data technology in real world applications in various domains, including government, publishing, and cultural heritage.

Skip to 0 minutes and 42 secondsELENA SIMPERL: Linked data is very important, very critical for a number of reasons. I think it is one of those technologies that is universally applicable across different sectors. And this applies for both researchers and for the industry. At its core, it is a technology to represent and integrate data in a way that is perfectly compatible to the web principles and web architectures. And you see it used for anything from knowledge representations to create knowledge graphs to exchange data across applications or to ensure interpretability over different data sets.

Skip to 1 minute and 20 secondsBARRY NORTON: This course will talk about some of the technologies from the semantic web stack that are applied in linked data in terms of representing knowledge in a graph-like way, in terms of integrating data sets from different sources, in terms of querying over this integrated data to find the knowledge that's relevant for a particular application. And then we'll also give a taster of how some of the other semantic technologies like reasoning can come into play. In this first week, we'll introduce you to some of the building blocks of linked data technology, which in particular builds on the web and its idea of identifying and linking things together.

Skip to 1 minute and 58 secondsThe difference between the web and linked data is, rather than just linking documents, we're really describing things. In the real or in imagined worlds, anything that we agree about we'll give an identifier. Just like the web, we call this a Universal Resource Identifier. And then model things in terms of their relationships, links between them. But again, the difference is we'll type those relationships to say what a link between two things represents. Those things put together the basis of the technology called RDF, which we'll introduce you to in this first week. And then as the course moves on, we'll talk about SPARQL, which is the query language for RDF that allows you to retrieve some of this knowledge.

Welcome to the course

In this short video you meet Dr Elena Simperl, University of Southampton and the Linked Data expert Dr Barry Norton who introduce you to the course and its content.

In this course we examine the basics of Linked Data, the Semantic Web and how these are creating a new ‘Web of Data’. You will learn how to use Linked Data technologies in your own work.


This course has been created in association with the European Data Science Academy project which receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. Many of the resources used in this course have been adapted from the ‘Using Linked Data Effectively’ eBook which was created by the Consortium of the EU FP7 EUCLID Project.


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Your online facilitation team

During the course, Postdoctoral researchers Luis Daniel Ibáñez and Chris Phethean and PhD students Robert Blair, Manuel Leon and Rafael Melgarejo will be supporting Elena and Barry.

You can follow them by clicking the links to their FutureLearn profile pages and selecting ‘follow’. That way, you’ll be able to see all the comments that they make.


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This video is from the free online course:

Introduction to Linked Data and the Semantic Web

University of Southampton

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