As promised, the slides from my SBL presentation earlier this week, “Weaving the New Testament into the Semantic Web”, are now available on SemanticBible. I spent a few slides overviewing the Semantic Web, RDF, and OWL, and how it might relate to things that Biblical scholars are familiar with. I also reflected on incorporating some Google Earth data about Bible places into New Testament Names: ironically, i experienced first-hand the same frustration with application-specific formats and semantics that is one of the motivations for the Semantic Web. Then i gave an overview of the New Testament Names knowledgebase itself: the classes, properties, instances, etc. I also had a brief demonstration of using the Longwell browser to view the data: I hope to get a live version up on SemanticBible, since seeing the data for 60 seconds seemed to connect more with people than all my other abstract descriptions. I closed with some suggestions for extending the work: enriching the Composite Gospel Index, expanding the coverage of NTNames, and other Semantic Web applications for Bible scholarship.
One of my goals was to try to identify others who would benefit from this work. Attendance was rather sparse though, no doubt a combination of being in the last session of the conference, and having a pretty esoteric topic. It’s still early days for this technology, and especially early in its application to Biblical study. But i’m hoping the web may unearth some others who can look far enough ahead to see the promise of this kind of work and help grow things incrementally.
And, as promised, i used Slidy (more about that experience later): that means all the content is in HTML, and each slide has its own URL, so you can link to individual slides, like this ramble on ways that NTNames might be extended. Click the help link at the bottom if you can’t figure out how to drive the presentation.
I’ve also put up another revision of the NTNames data: there’s an overview here. Alas, while i hoped to get to a decent stopping point, i just ran out of time. So i still haven’t completed a pass through all the Man instances to ensure i’ve disambiguated them all, and to get the basic properties like religiousBelief, ethnicity, etc. But i did get the latitude-longitude data attached to City instances, a nice extension for which i’m grateful to the folks who’ve contributed to Google Earth data. I’ll keep chipping away …