rdflib v0.2.3


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Tools to Manipulate and Query Semantic Data

The Resource Description Framework, or 'RDF' is a widely used data representation model that forms the cornerstone of the Semantic Web. 'RDF' represents data as a graph rather than the familiar data table or rectangle of relational databases. The 'rdflib' package provides a friendly and concise user interface for performing common tasks on 'RDF' data, such as reading, writing and converting between the various serializations of 'RDF' data, including 'rdfxml', 'turtle', 'nquads', 'ntriples', and 'json-ld'; creating new 'RDF' graphs, and performing graph queries using 'SPARQL'. This package wraps the low level 'redland' R package which provides direct bindings to the 'redland' C library. Additionally, the package supports the newer and more developer friendly 'JSON-LD' format through the 'jsonld' package. The package interface takes inspiration from the Python 'rdflib' library.



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A friendly and consise user interface for performing common tasks on rdf data, such as parsing and converting between formats including rdfxml, turtle, nquads, ntriples, and trig, creating rdf graphs, and performing SPARQL queries. This package wraps the redland R package which provides direct bindings to the redland C library. Additionally, the package supports parsing and serialization of rdf into json-ld through the json-ld package, which binds the official json-ld javascript API. The package interface takes inspiration from the Python rdflib library.


You can install rdflib from GitHub with:

# install.packages("devtools")

Basic use

While not required, rdflib is designed to play nicely with %>% pipes, so we will load the magrittr package as well:


Parse a file and serialize into a different format:

system.file("extdata/dc.rdf", package="redland") %>%
  rdf_parse() %>%
  rdf_serialize("test.nquads", "nquads")

Perform SPARQL queries:

sparql <-
 'PREFIX dc: <http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/>
  SELECT ?a ?c
  WHERE { ?a dc:creator ?c . }'

system.file("extdata/dc.rdf", package="redland") %>%
rdf_parse() %>%
#> # A tibble: 1 x 2
#>   a                      c           
#>   <chr>                  <chr>       
#> 1 http://www.dajobe.org/ Dave Beckett

Initialize graph a new object or add triples statements to an existing graph:

x <- rdf()
x <- rdf_add(x, 
#> Total of 1 triples, stored in hashes
#> -------------------------------
#> <http://www.dajobe.org/> <http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/language> "en" .

Change the default display format (nquads) for graph objects:

options(rdf_print_format = "jsonld")
#> Total of 1 triples, stored in hashes
#> -------------------------------
#> {
#>   "@id": "http://www.dajobe.org/",
#>   "http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/language": "en"
#> }


We can also work with the JSON-LD format through additional functions provided in the R package, jsonld.

out <- tempfile()
rdf_serialize(x, out, "jsonld")
rdf_parse(out, format = "jsonld")
#> Total of 1 triples, stored in hashes
#> -------------------------------
#> {
#>   "@id": "http://www.dajobe.org/",
#>   "http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/language": "en"
#> }

For more information on the JSON-LD RDF API, see https://json-ld.org/spec/latest/json-ld-rdf/.

Advanced Use

See articles from the documentation for advanced use including applications to large triplestores, example SPARQL queries, and information about additional database backends.

Citing rdflib

Please also cite the underlying redland library when citing rdflib

Carl Boettiger. (2018). rdflib: A high level wrapper around the redland package for common rdf applications (Version 0.1.0). Zenodo. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1098478

Jones M, Slaughter P, Ooms J, Boettiger C, Chamberlain S (2019). redland: RDF Library Bindings in R. doi: 10.5063/F1VM496B (URL: https://doi.org/10.5063/F1VM496B), R package version 1.0.17-11, \<URL: https://github.com/ropensci/redland-bindings/tree/master/R/redland>.


Functions in rdflib

Name Description
read_nquads read an nquads file
rdf_add Add RDF Triples
write_nquads write object out as nquads
c.rdf Concatenate rdf Objects.
rdf_parse Parse RDF Files
rdf_free Free Memory Associated with RDF object
rdf_has_bdb Check for BDB support
rdf_query Perform a SPARQL Query
rdf_serialize Serialize an RDF Document
as_rdf Coerce an object into RDF
rdf Initialize an rdf Object
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License MIT + file LICENSE
Encoding UTF-8
LazyData true
URL https://github.com/ropensci/rdflib
BugReports https://github.com/ropensci/rdflib/issues
RoxygenNote 7.0.2
VignetteBuilder knitr
Language en-US
NeedsCompilation no
Packaged 2020-01-08 19:54:52 UTC; cboettig
Repository CRAN
Date/Publication 2020-01-10 04:10:02 UTC

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