SPARQLing at SemTech


SemTech 2009 has come and gone, and it was great. I was concerned—as were others—that the state of the economy would depress the turnout and enthusiasm for the show, but it seems that any such effects were at least counterbalanced by a growing interest in semantic technologies. Early reports are that attendance was up about 20% from last year, and at sessions, coffee breaks, and the exhibit hall there seemed to always be more people than I expected. Good stuff.

Eric P. and I gave our SPARQL By Example tutorial to a crowd of about 50 people on Monday. From the feedback I’ve received, it seems that people found the session beneficial, and at least a couple of people remarked on the fact that Eric and I seemed to be having fun. If this whole semantic thing doesn’t work out, at least we can fall back on our ad-hoc comedy routines.

Anyways, I wanted to share a couple of links with everyone. I think they work nicely to supplement other SPARQL tutorials in helping teach SPARQL to newcomers and infrequent practitioners.

  1. SPARQL By Example slides. I’ve probably posted this link before, but the slides have now been updated with some new examples and with a series of exercises that help reinforce each piece of SPARQL that the reader encounters. Thanks to Eric P. for putting together all of the exercises and to Leigh Dodds for the excellent space exploration data set.
  2. SPARQL Cheat Sheet slides. This is a short set of about 10 slides intended to be a concise reference for people learning to write SPARQL queries. It includes things like common prefixes, the structure of queries, how to encode SPARQL into an HTTP URL, and more.

Enjoy, and, as always, I’d welcome any feedback, suggestions for improvements, or pointers to how/where you’re able to make use of these materials.


Thanks for these! The examples will be very useful for my work.It was nice to meet you.

Will the video of the comedy routines be available online? kthxbye.

Nice one Lee!
Have you got the examples in a copy & pasteable form anywhere? Would be good for ESW Wiki I reckon. (I can quickly snag them via OpenOffice if you like).

[ Hey Danny - unfortunately I only have them in the HTML source which is full of escaped HTML markup and the like - that and in the slides themselves, where they can be copied, but not easily :-) --Lee ]