code4lib recap and follow-up

As always code4lib was a terrific conference. There were too many great sessions to pick a favorite. Things kicked off for me with the unconference preconference in which I participated in two "sessions" on on web services and libraries and other other on Linked Data. The web services and libraries session left me thinking that OCLC Developer Network could do more to talk about the technologies and process behind how we're building the web services at OCLC. We've done a little of this: Ralph Levan has given two TAI CHI talks on VIAF and Linked Data. However, I'd like to do more. So keep an eye out for more posts and videos on building web services.

I had the luck to be the first 20 minute talk at code4lib, which meant I was able to relax early on and listen to all the great projects people were working on. My talk generated a great deal of interest in the MapFAST web service as well geocoding and controlled vocabularies. Ed Summers blogged and Tweeted quite a bit about the service and an HTML 5 prototype he built using it.

Since getting home I've found some other interesting things related to vocabularies and geocoding as it relates to the Terminology Services web service. In addition, to being available via the MapFAST web service, the authority records geographic FAST headings are also geocoded in Terminology Services.

So for examples if you look at

you see a MARC authority record with geocoding data in the 034 field

<datafield ind1=" " ind2=" " tag="034">
<subfield code="d">W0803409</subfield>
<subfield code="e">W0803409</subfield>
<subfield code="f">N0410923</subfield>
<subfield code="g">N0410923</subfield>
<subfield code="2">geonames</subfield>

This field isn't currently searchable. However, you can search for a particular place term and get the appropriate geographic coordinates for that place term.

Geocoding was a definitely a theme at code4lib11 and Tim Shearer from UNC's talk on "GIS on the Cheap" had me thinking was other web services OCLC could offer in this arena and potential collaborations.

I also got to spend some time with Terry Reese talking about MARCEdit and brainstorming ideas about which OCLC web services it could possibly leaverage. Terry was able to incorporate the Classify web service into MARCEdit to batch classify a bunch of records on the fly.You may or may not be aware that MARCEdit also uses the Terminology Services web services to assist catalogers with adding subject headings.

MARCEdit Searching for a term via OCLC Terminology services

I also had a chance to talk with some Blacklight developers from University of Wisconsin and Stanford about incorporating authority and vocabulary data into that tool. For me, meeting with folks and hearing about their projects, suggesting how OCLC web services might help them meet their goals is the best part of the conference. For those of you who'd like to talk about your project or get some help with what you're working on--think about visiting me during office hours. We've switched the times up a little new office hours will be

Tuesday: 9-10am ET

Friday: 2pm - 3pm ET

Great to see many of you at Code4Lib and look forward to talking during Office Hours!

  • Karen Coombs

    Karen Coombs

    Senior Product Analyst