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Session Proposal: So you’ve built a collection API, now what?

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Making your data open can be as simple as dumping the data somewhere on the internet. A baby step beyond that is build a simple REST API on top of your data. This approach is becoming more popular within visual arts and design institutions, mainly large ones, with a few really solid Collection APIs out there now. Properly linking this data is the next step, but one almost no institutions take.

I’ll be offering a sneak peak at the soon to be released SFMOMA Collection API during the LODLAM Summit and asking the question “now what?”


  1. Profile photo of Conal Tuohy

    Conal Tuohy

    June 27, 2015

    One suggestion for “what next” is to wheel in some lightweight translation software to convert those APIs into LOD.

    I wrote some software (called “Retailer”) for translating such “custom” collection APIs into other protocols.

    The code: https://github.com/Conal-Tuohy/Retailer
    Blog posts: http://conaltuohy.com/blog/tag/retailer/

    I have used it to translate the APIs of Trove and of DigitalNZ into OAI-PMH, but I’m pretty sure that it could also implement LOD. It’s a tiny Java servlet and configured “just” by writing an XSLT transform. I found it pretty easy to deploy the Trove and Papers Past translators on Heroku.com:


  2. asa letourneau

    June 28, 2015

    Asa I’ve been thinking about LODLAM in the last few days it’s occurred to me more and more that it’s going to be a collosal effort to get widespresad adoption unles we get the workflow to produce lod ‘baked in’ to content management systems and collection management ewnvironments. I thinks it’s unrealistic to expect anyone to produce lod and publish it without this basic support. Probably obvious but just wanted to put it out there. And it has to be much more than just producing web pages with schema.org markup via the CMS. That might cut it for business but falls far short of LODLAM requirements. Just hoping Drupal will step up to the challenge(maybe it already has?)

    • Profile photo of Keir Winesmith

      Keir Winesmith

      June 28, 2015

      Hey Asa

      I totally agree with you, and that’s the approach we’re taking with the SFMOMA Collection API in that we’re trying to use it support the next version of the GLAMkit CMS (http://glamkit.org/). I really don’t think drupal is the future of LOD, but I could be wrong, I hope I’m wrong.


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