How to Open an RDF

by Steve McDonnell

When a computer scans a Web page, it can distinguish words on the page, but it doesn't have a way to attach meaning to those words. A Resource Description Framework file provides contextual information about the data contained on a Web page by using specific XML tags. For example, an RDF file for a Web page that lists clothing for sale might identify each item as an article of clothing, specify the type of clothing and identify attributes such as a specific number that represents size and a specific word that represents color.

Opening an RDF File

While it might be difficult to decipher the RDF code, you can open and read an RDF file in any text editor, since it consists of XML code. Copy the contents of the text file and paste it into the the W3C RDF Validation Service (link in Resources) to visualize the RDF document, or paste a link to the file into the validation service to visualize it directly.

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About the Author

Steve McDonnell's experience running businesses and launching companies complements his technical expertise in information, technology and human resources. He earned a degree in computer science from Dartmouth College, served on the WorldatWork editorial board, blogged for the Spotfire Business Intelligence blog and has published books and book chapters for International Human Resource Information Management and Westlaw.

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