According to the Wikipedia, Linked data is:
In computing, linked data (often capitalized as Linked Data) describes a method of publishing structured data so that it can be interlinked and become more useful through semantic queries. It builds upon standard Web technologies such as HTTP, RDF and URIs, but rather than using them to serve web pages for human readers, it extends them to share information in a way that can be read automatically by computers. This enables data from different sources to be connected and queried.
Tim Berners-Lee, director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), coined the term in a design note about the Semantic Web project.
Tim Berners-Lee's four principles of linked data are (Linked Data - Design Issues):
- Use URIs to name (identify) things.
- Use HTTP URIs so that these things can be looked up (interpreted, "dereferenced").
- Provide useful information about what a name identifies when it's looked up, using open standards such as RDF, SPARQL, etc.
- Refer to other things using their HTTP URI-based names when publishing data on the Web.