I recently contacted the Danish Ministry of Culture, about permissions for the national bibliographical data, and got the response that the parts that they own the copyright on, can be used freely and without conditions. So the core Danish national bibliography is now open data! 🙂
(The email response from Kulturstyrelsen about open bibliographic data was “Jeg skal hermed meddele, at Kulturministeriet og Kulturstyrelsen finder, at du frit og uden betingelser kan anvende de nationalbibliografiske data, som ministeriet ifølge den nationalbibliografiske aftale har ejendomsretten til.”)
This was the perfect excuse to play with semantic markup, – so I put some of the data online, together with recommendations from my recommendation engine, in simple html with some semantic annotations. You can see the result on http://solsort.com/bibdata
Semantic markup is a way to make the things you write readable for machines, as well as humans, so a machine would be able to understand that the page is actually about a book with a given author, title, isbn, etc. There are two way (RDFa and microdata) to embed the information within html, and you can have different vocabularies. I just used microdata and the schema.org vocabulary.
After making this prototype, I had my focus elsewhere, until I recently checked some web-statistics. There were a very high number of request from the google robots, – downloading literally a hundred thousand of bibliographic records, which were only linked through the recommendation engine. And to my big surprise, sometimes when I tried to search for the title of a book in the Danish google, my simple prototype/experiment of putting data online popped up on the first page of search results.
So the conclusion is that it actually has an impact to put semantic information in your website. And this also inspires me to play more with linked open data.