I’ve been getting to grips with SPARQL over the last week, probably more so than I have at any time over the last year. SPARQL is an RDF query language and one of the nice things about the Talis Platform is that you dont have to know SPARQL in order to retrieve data. So up until recently I really didnt have much need to write SPARQL queries, I could pretty much do what I wanted with the platform using its other RESTful services.
The platform however has extensive support for SPARQL, so whilst working on a spike this week it was apparant that some of the things I wanted to do would require writing some queries. I used it as an opportunity to brush up on my RDF and SPARQL – it’s amazing how easily we can take things for granted when the tools and services we use on a day to day basis hide us from low level implementation details.
If your anything like me when you want to brush up on something you you tend to scour bookshelves, or google for bits of information, which can be time consuming and sometimes a bit hit and miss. Fortunately Danny came to my rescue, he joined Talis recently and I think he’s a fantastic addition to the team. Danny sent me a link to his Semantic Web Starting Points, a collection of links he’s compiled that provide a great introduction to semantic web technologies, which obviously includes RDF and SPARQL.