Wouldn’t it be fantastic if any search engine could give you highly accurate information about libraries, archives, galleries, and museums in your area? They can, of course, and some do just that by relying on data maintained in social media sites like Google+–as long as that secondary source of data is kept up to date. However, most GLAM institutions already publish web pages that include their name, location, opening hours, contact information, and events in human-readable format, but fail to maintain even a subset of that information with secondary data sources such as the WorldCat Registry.
The http://schema.org/Library, http://schema.org/ArtGallery, and http://schema.org/Museum classes (note: missing an Archive class!) and related vocabulary offers most of the vocabulary we need to express this information as linked open data. Using serializations such as RDFa or JSON-LD, GLAM institutions should be able to publish linked open data that matches the human-readable data, and the Evergreen library system has been doing just that for the past year. Sadly, however, the schema.org pages for GLAM institutions (Library, ArtGallery, Museum) currently claim that fewer than a thousand domains have used this approach to making their locations available to the world. We can do better.
Let’s discuss how we can enable GLAM institutions to publish this fundamental linked open data, possibly through the adoption of templates in content management systems such as Drupal and Joomla, and figure out what practical steps we can take to make this happen in our own parts of the world.
Updated 2015-06-28 to be more inclusive of GLAM institutions in general.