Open Thread: What Would You Build With a Web of Data?

Recently we looked at the state of Linked Data in 2010, noting developments such as governments putting public data online and Thomson Reuters putting structure around commercial data using OpenCalais. In a follow-up post, we explained the distinction between Linked Data, Open Data and the Semantic Web.

Georgi Kobilarov, who runs a Linked Data startup from Germany called Uberblic Labs, recently issued an interesting challenge on his blog. He asked: if we had a Web of Data, what would you build? Not to steal Georgi’s thunder, but we think this is a great question to put to ReadWriteWeb readers too.

Here’s Georgi’s idea:

“If we had a Web of Data, I would built an application for painless travel planning. It would integrate flight plans, train timetables, bus routes, car rental offers, etc. And the user would be able to just say: I want to go from A to B: Find me the best/cheapest/fastest routes. […] With a Web of Data, an application could do all that combining for me, the same way flight booking sites do that today for just flights.”

Here’s my idea for an app that uses the Web of Data. I’d like a web site or app that allows me to discover the locations of original art works by my favorite artists, and then create travel itineraries for me to see some or all of those art works (most famous artists have their art works scattered around the world, in various museums and galleries). It’s possible that there is a web directory of artists somewhere that has some or even all of this data already, but if so I haven’t found it.

I ask for this because every now and then I search the Web for a painting that I saw in a book. A recent example was a Modigliani painting that I was attempting to create a copy of, for my beginners acrylic painting class. The original painting was called “Portrait of Madame Hanka Zborowska.” One of the results from Google told me that the original painting is located at the National Gallery of Modern Art, Rome, Italy.

I could potentially spend hours hunting down the locations of Modigliani’s paintings, using Google – and it’s likely that some of the data isn’t currently online. So it would be great if I could query one web site or app: tell me where all the originals of Modigliani’s paintings are in the world, and draw me an itinerary for visiting all or some of them. Heck, maybe even book my flights and hotels!

That’s my example of what I’d build from a Web of Data. Now tell us what site or app you would like built, if the data was available on the Web.

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