Two Approaches to Modeling RDF

Learn about the difference between vanilla and semantic RDF.


We’ll look at two versions of modeling RDF—a vanilla mapping into RDF and a semantic mapping into RDF where common terms are reused.

  • The vanilla RDF defines a valid RDF graph but using private semantics. If we don’t also supply a schema for these terms, the data model will be valid, but the meaning will be opaque.

  • The semantic RDF, on the other hand, uses some common vocabularies for the terms it uses so that the data model will be valid and the meaning will be clear. This semantic RDF graph can now be understood since the schema is shared.

Vanilla RDF

Let’s first consider the simplest case. We need to raise up our types and properties into a default URI namespace. And for now, we’ll ignore any data typing or language tagging of property values.

We’ve saved a book-ex.ttl file in the graph store. We can read that back as follows:

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