Web Identity



What is an Open GUID?

An Open GUID is a global identity for a person, place, thing, abstract concept, or even a group of these.  As long as something is determined unique by the OpenGUID.net community, it can have an Open GUID.

What makes a GUID open?

It should be up to the web community to decide what constitutes uniqueness, including the exact definition of a concept and whether two GUIDs should be merged.  In addition, anyone can register an identical ontological class or instance, tag a concept with another Open GUID, or associate a legacy identifier with the primary Open GUID.

Does an Open GUID only define concepts in the English Language?

No.  Open GUIDs refer to the same concept across languages.  The initial GUIDs were loaded with the English WordNet database, but will be translated to every language by the community.

How will data be linked to an Open GUID?

Ontological classes are linked via Services on OpenGUID.net.  Content creators also need a way to associate their text and data with the unique concept.  This is supported by tools such as blog software plugins that assist in matching written text to existing Open GUIDs.  Further, by building a registry of identical concepts in other ontologies, existing linked data will be automatically associated.

Why a GUID instead of an integer?

A GUID can be generated offline at any time by any system.  They are then easily added as a new Open GUID or a synonym of an existing one.  HTTP requests for synonyms will be greeted with a 301 redirect to the primary Open GUID.

Existing linked data consists of human readable URIs.  Aren’t GUIDs obtuse?

The Semantic Web (and thus an Open GUID) is designed to be interpreted by machines.  Thus identifiers need not be remembered by people.  It is much easier to find concepts in one place than to scour the web for the best possible URI identifier.

Will the semantics of my GUID be changed?

Open GUIDs are permanent.  Once a GUID has been assigned to a thing or concept, it will always mean exactly that.  If a concept is judged by the community to be different than existing ones, a new GUID will be established.

What if a new GUID is created by mistake?

If it is determined that two existing Open GUIDs are identical, they can be marked as synonyms.  A primary Open GUID will be established, and all identity relations will subsumed.

What is the relationship of OpenGUID.net to OpenID.net?

There is no relationship at this time.  However, an association between a person’s credentials and their web identifier could prove quite useful.

What proprietary legacy identiers could be replaced with an Open GUID?

There are many proprietary identifiers that could be replace with an Open GUID.  For example, a company is currently identified in many business contexts with its DUNS number, which can be a hindrance to Linked Open Data in the Semantic Web.

What is the significance of a tag?

Open GUIDs are tagged with other Open GUIDs for navigational purposes only.  Tags have no semantic meaning.

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