First, Jim Ley kindly pointed me at my Foafnaut entry. It’s SVG so you may need the Adobe SVG viewer and it doesn’t appear to work in Mozilla. But it’s exactly the kind of thing I was looking for. If you can’t see it, I’ve put a screenshot here that shows the people I know, people Jo knows, a link between us and links between both of us and Yoz who appears in both our FOAF files. You search for other people by clicking the magnifying glass icon and entering an email address.
It’s an easy way to view this complex information, and demonstrates that it might actually be some use. FoafCORP does a similar SVG thing with the data from They Rule, which depicts the connections between boardmembers of large corporations.
Jo also told me about her related explorations into using RDF information to map physical spaces. It’s early days yet, but it looks very promising — such a virtual space would be a great place off which to hang other tools. Something Chris Heathcote has been thinking about which is extra-interesting as I work at UpMyStreet.com. Of course, if I’d been paying attention, I’d have noticed all this when I read Matt Jones’s post on the subject (although maybe I was put off because that dialogue made me cringe, sorry Matt).
It’s all very exciting, and, in a luddite fashion, all these connections make me wonder if I really need some new technology to help me find more…