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3.11

# Queries using DESCRIBE

Like CONSTRUCT, DESCRIBE delivers as output an RDF graph – i.e., a set of RDF triples. It differs from CONSTRUCT in that these triples are not constructed according to a template, but returned as found in the dataset.

The reasons for doing this are similar to those for CONSTRUCT – you might, for instance, want to add these triples to another dataset – but you would prefer DESCRIBE if you were satisfied with the original encoding and had no reason to re-express the information using different resource names.

To specify the desired information, the simplest method is to name a resource; the query engine will then return all triples in which this resource is employed either as subject, predicate or object. Thus the following query will retrieve all statements mentioning Paul McCartney.

PREFIX dbpedia: <http://dbpedia.org/resource/>

DESCRIBE dbpedia:Paul_McCartney


Alternatively, resources can be specified more generically as bindings to a variable. Thus the following query requests all triples that mention a member of the Beatles.

PREFIX dbpedia: <http://dbpedia.org/resource/>
PREFIX mo: <http://purl.org/ontology/mo/>

DESCRIBE ?member
WHERE { dbpedia:The_Beatles mo:member ?member }


## Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:

• ##### Welcome to the course
video

Watch Dr Elena Simperl & Dr Barry Norton explain how this short course on linked data & the semantic web can help you use this technology in your work

• ##### Developing real world applications
video

Watch Dr Barry Norton describing some real world applications that have Linked Data as their underlying technology.

• ##### Welcome to Week 2
video

Watch Dr Barry Norton explain what you will learn about SPARQL (the query language) on this course and what you will be practicing.