Unit 7 – Experimenting with Fedora Commons

We will not be covering Fedora Commons as a digital repository, so I wanted to experiment with it a little. I am interested in creating more of a semantic web than a traditional digital repository, and Fedora is designed to enable this data model.  According to their website under the section “Fedora Basics,”

“While Fedora can easily be used to model digital collections of surrogates of traditional, catalog-based collections, it has been designed to be able to support durable web-like information architectures. Because each object completely contains all of the content, metadata and attributes of a unit of content, and can assert any number of relationships to any other object, it is easy to support schemes in which objects have multiple contexts with no dependencies upon each other.”

Fedora supports an RDF-like data model, where

“Relationships are asserted from the perspective of one object to another object as in the following general pattern:

<subjectFedoraObject> <relationshipProperty> <targetFedoraObject>

The first Fedora object is considered the “subject” of the relationship assertion. The relationship, itself, is considered a property of the subject. The target Fedora object is the related object. Thus, a valid relationship assertion as an English-language sentence might be:

<MyCatVideo> <is a member of the collection> <GreatCatVideos>”

They have an online sandbox environment that you can test. I will post more when I get the chance to play around.

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Filed under Digital Collections, Library science, semantic web, SIRLS 675

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