Part of the continuing Get Your FOAF On series, this tutorial is a companion to the earlier installment on events, covering some specific types of event description.
While the RDF iCalender effort is certainly the most rigorous approach to describing events in RDF, this doesn’t mean that it’s the only way to do it and other vocabularies offer some alternatives for specific cases.
This tutorial will look at the Conference and Bio vocabularies that describe conference participation and births, deaths, and marriages.
The BIO vocabulary is an RDF schema created by Ian Davis that can be used to capture biographical details about people whether living or dead. It defines it’s own notion of an Event, independent of that defined in RDF Calendar, and refining it into three types of significant event that can happen to someone: Birth, Death and Marriage. An event has a specific date-time at which it happened (
bio:date), and a textual description of where it took place (
Here’s how one uses it:
<bio:place>Teignmouth, Devon, United Kingdom</bio:place>
Associating a person with a birth, death or marriage event is handled by the
bio:event property the value of which is a particular kind of event:
bio:Marriage. The above example describes my birthday (30th April 1972) and where it took place.
The description of the event’s location is obviously fairly limited, a more detailed geographical description might have been more useful (we’ll look at these in a later installment), however for the limited use case that the BIO vocabulary is aimed at it’s probably enough.
So with Births, Deaths, and Marriages out of the way, what about conferences?
Jennifer Golbeck has written an OWL schema for capturing conference related metadata. The schema treats a conference, panels, presentations as events but unfortunately the schema is not yet tied into RDFiCal so the two aren’t fully interoperable.
For an example of how to use this schema see this example from my conference metadata wiki which is an application exploring easy authoring of this kind of data.