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Google Refine + RDF Extension = Step To Enterprise Data Space

March 7, 2011 by Jenz514   Comments (0)

Time to reflect on Google Refine in so far as it relates to the RDF extension produced by DERI Researcher/ Linked Data Technologist Richard Cyganiak and DERI Research Master Student Fadi Maali, which debuted a couple months back. The RDF Extension adds a graphical user interface for exporting Refine project data in RDF format, and the pairing is worth a closer look by the enterprise community.

Refine – the messy data-cleanup tool once known as Freebase Gridworks, prior to Google’s acquisition of MetaWeb – has an established reputation in open government data and journalism communities, and the RDF Extension certainly has application there. But the Excel-laden enterprise also should consider how it can profit from the matched capabilities, too. Think of how much critical business information is locked inside uncommunicative Excel spreadsheets – reams and reams of them – and individual databases. Refine presents an opportunity to take in that data and clean it up (something Excel itself isn’t particularly focused on) and, with the RDF extension, to free it from its silos, integrate it with other data sets, and just plain open the door to getting a whole lot more use out of it.

This can be an important piece, then, of the bigger notion of the enterprise data space, where there’s a single way to access, query and search data that now lives in its own little pockets. “It seems RDF is a great technology for implementing this sort of abstract idea of the enterprise data space,” Cyganiak says.

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