[openbiblio-dev] query to bibliographica.org

William Waites ww at styx.org
Tue Apr 5 16:41:43 UTC 2011

* [2011-04-05 18:13:06 +0200] Primavera De Filippi <primavera.defilippi at okfn.org> écrit:

] (1) Is it possible to directly query the database to only retrieve metadata
] concerning those works which fulfill the search criteria, i.e. author /
] title / date / country / etc.  If so, how can we do that?
] (2) Is it possible to get access to the SPARQL wrapper at
] bibliographica.org/sparql ?   If so, how can we retrieve JSON output from
] there?

The answer to these two is, yes and no. The public SPARQL endpoint is
disabled due to problems with the Virtuoso server (you can read more
about that at the page that /sparql redirects you to). It is intended
to be publicly queriable.

Even if it were, I suspect you wouldn't be satisfied with the format
of the JSON output it gives, and rightly so. JSON output of RDF things
is generally a bit hard to work with.

] (3) do you think you would benefit from a python application that would
] convert Bibliographica metadata into JSON format?

Bibliographica does this directly, e.g.,


You can inspect the data more easily from


(documentation by way of example)

There is some example of using this here:


(the second and third don't actually work now due to the reasons above)

Some different representations for the same data produced when we were
designing the data model (we chose the BIBO one, more or less, and the
actual "schema" we use is almost exactly the BL one with some extra 
BIBO bits:


You are correct that, now that the SPARQL endpoint is out of action,
there is *no way* to query the database other than to use the web form.
This is a big problem. So what I'll do is make a variant of
http://bibliographica.org/search that will respond to the Accept header
and give you back json. You will do the moral equivalent of

    curl -H "Accept: text/javascript" http://bibliographica.org/search?q=primavera

and it will give you back a simple list of URIs. For each uRI you can
then do,

    curl -H "Accept: text/javascript" http://bnb.bibliographica.org/entry/GB8339761

to get back the representation of the entity. This works now, only
the search part is absent.

This is a coarse full-text search with no subtle notions of fields for
author or title, but should do for a first cut. If we can get the 
SPARQL endpoint opened up to the public again soon then for more
sophisticated searches you could use that.

In parallel with that I'll start some docs on the wiki - which will
be linked from the main bibliographica.org site at the next update
and will live here: https://bitbucket.org/okfn/bibliographica/wiki/Home

William Waites                <mailto:ww at styx.org>
http://river.styx.org/ww/        <sip:ww at styx.org>
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