LodLive is an experimental project whose goal is to create a tool that could offer RDF browser connection capabilities with data graph representation. Working as an open source program under MIT license LodLive is available for use under the conditions of Creative Commons. Designed by a team of independent developers from Italy - Diego Valerio Camarda, Silvia Mazzini and Alessandro Antonuccio - the program is still in its developmental stage.
LodLive is the first navigator that uses RDF resources based solely on SPARQL endpoints. As a very user-friendly tool LodLive advocates for the linked-open-data philosophy and the effectiveness of data graph representation. LodLive consists of a jQuery plug-in (lodlive-core.js), a JSON configuration map (lodlive-profile.js), an HTML page, a few images (sprites), and some other jQuery public plug-ins. The program invites Public Administrations and large–scale data owners to share their resources on LOD. Although LodLive is still in its developmental stage the project already runs 2 big datasets which are dbpedia.org and freebase.com.
After choosing the dataset and selecting the keyword, shows big circles surrounded by some smaller circles. You can browse the data by clicking any of the circles and can see the links to the page associated with the word of search. Trying to find something about Canada I came across this visualization:
The big blue circle is the main endpoint offering links to other endpoints. By clicking one of the smaller blue circles this way, I moved myself to another end point – the big yellow circle again with smaller circles. You can see the elements of semantic web that help user to navigate through the associations and meanings in the search. From the term Canada I managed to come to Parliament of Canada and the program helped me to understand the meaning of it – location and meeting place. The next step was to know the associations LodLive built with Parliament of Canada. These connects were numerous and important point is that all those links and web page search results were in different languages. If you look at Canada bubble it’s in English, Chinese, French, Russian, Italian etc.:
In a very simple way users can find interesting data just searching by any particular key word. The funny thing is the search can work just the opposite way - starting from URI input and going deeper into keywords on the webpage of database. Despite the seeming ease of use LodLive is not that simple and superficial. It’s not just about browsing the resources. You can see a bubble of Settings in each of the circles. This bubble open pane with features for user to work with the resources. Those features are Information on the resource; Focus on the resource; Access the online resource; Expand related resources and Remove this box. After playing with LodLive I can completely agree with the idea program creators advance for DH community – “resources published by W3C standards for the semantic web can be made easily accessible and legible with a few viable tools.” It’s really easy to browse the web of data with LodLive.