Open Library

Open Library is a project of Internet Archive. “One web page for every book ever published” is the goal of the project.

It is an open project; like wiki that everyone is able to create a book record, and everyone can edit any record.  It uses open source technology.  Its records are open that there is no ‘completed’ record.

In their home page, it says “Open Library is your library to read, to borrow, and to search”.  Open Library has over 20 million edition records, provides 1.7 million scanned versions of books.  It links to external sources like WorldCat and Amazon.

Using the Entity and Relationships concept, it treats all entities as THINGS.  This makes the adding data elements to the entities become easy and unlimited.  It has a big difference from our traditional catalogue records, which look like this:

Author
Book title.
Place, publisher, date
Series
Subject A
Subject B

Although the relationship of author, publisher, subject to the book is obvious, the whole focus is on presentation of information of the book.  In E-R model, each THINGS are identified with a unique identifier.  This makes it easy to hang other things to it.  The datasets in Open Library are also in RDF, a data exchange format used by Linked Data.

In Open Library, not only each book has its own page; each person, each subject also has its own page. You will be amazed that a non-profit project can be so advanced, so user-friendly and providing such comprehensive coverage of information and analysis of things of books.

The URL of Open Library is: http://openlibrary.org. Experience it yourself.

More readings:

http://kcoyle.blogspot.sg/search/label/OpenLibrary
http://www.w3.org/2005/Incubator/lld/XGR-lld-20111025/#Appendix_A:_An_inventory_of_existing_library_Linked_Data_resources