Getting started with SPARQL by Bob DuCharme

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Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee once said that "trying to use the Semantic Web without SPARQL is like trying to use a relational database without SQL." The W3C standard SPARQL query language is getting nearer to its 1.1 release, and more and more people are using it with free and commercial software to retrieve data from public and private sources. In this presentation, we'll learn how to put together and execute simple SPARQL queries on local data and on publicly available data such as the DBpedia database of fielded Wikipedia data. We'll also learn how people are using SPARQL in applications, where it fits in the Semantic Web, and what new features the 1.1 release adds to the specification.

Bob DuCharme ( is a solution architect at TopQuadrant (, a provider of software for modeling, developing and deploying Semantic Web applications. In the newsletter, editor Kendall Clark once wrote "Does anyone write tech prose as clear as Bob?" Bob is the author of Manning Publications' "XSLT Quickly," Prentice Hall's "XML: The Annotated Specification" and "SGML CD," and McGraw Hill's "Operating Systems Handbook." He's written over seventy pieces for and has contributed to Dr. Dobb's Journal, IBM developerWorks, DevX,, XML Magazine, XML Journal, XML Developer, O'Reilly Books' "XML Hacks," and Prentice Hall's "XML Handbook." Bob received his BA in Religion from Columbia University and his Masters in Computer Science from New York University. He lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.