Towards a Web of Data?


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A presentation to Digital Sparks North West's Transmissions event on 21 July 2010 [].

This presentation covers Linked Data and the Semantic Web, and uses the example of companies such as TripIt to demonstrate that a little semantics can go a long way. The presentation then explores more formal approaches, such as those underway within the UK Government, and asks whether or not this is feasible in a commercial context.

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Towards a Web of Data?

  1. 1. Towards a Web of Data? Paul Miller The Cloud of Data
  2. 2. Today’s a “Web of Documents” ?
  3. 3. Tomorrow’s “Semantic Web,” 2001-style!
  4. 4. Pipe Dream?
  5. 5. Or are the pieces falling into place?
  6. 6.
  7. 7.
  8. 8. itinerary… enriched with maps, weather, etc
  9. 9. itinerary… in calendar, on iPhone, etc
  10. 10. simply making an existing task easier and richer text processing, back-end knowledge, APIs semantic knowledge of place, time, etc valuable data on intentions, choices, preferences and more adds value, without shouting about it.
  11. 11. From DARPA’s CALO Project… to the iPhone
  12. 12.
  13. 13. voice recognition lots and lots of data… ideally via APIs keeps data fresh, increases opportunities for cash, makes it an SEP leverage knowledge of time, place, and history ‘a cab from here to work, tomorrow morning’ semantic smarts ‘cheap sushi’ and ‘great sushi’ require analysis of different data, and may result in different recommendations.
  14. 14. understanding language...
  15. 15. finding meaning and associations in text
  16. 16. relatively expensive, computationally attempting to understand language and infer meaning promising technology, but...
  17. 17. the first big VC engagement with ‘Semantic Web’ &
  18. 18. community, meet canonical
  19. 19. adding structure to information
  20. 20. exposing via APIs. Glue for the Web.
  21. 21. canonical source for community-enriched data commercial interest free, open, unencumbered… and available for download or linking.
  22. 22. $100 million $200
  23. 23. [&]
  24. 24. Data tends to remain siloised.
  25. 25. wider movement towards ‘Open’ Data “Stop hugging your data...” Sir Tim Berners-Lee, 2009
  26. 26. previous examples not like this...
  27. 27. W3C-driven effort. More used - and useful - than PR might imply URI - 1994 XML - 1998 RDF - 1999/ 2004 OWL - 2004 SPARQL - 2008 Applications - 2007/8 Image © World Wide Web Consortium
  28. 28. “J.R.R. Tolkien wrote The Hobbit”
  29. 29. J.R.R. Tolkien wrote The Hobbit predicate
  30. 30. eg Wikipedia data boxes to DBpedia
  31. 31. eg UK Gov
  32. 32. eg BBC
  33. 33. eg NY Times
  34. 34. Data OPEN for use and re-use… But that’s not all...
  35. 35. Data LINKED to other places outside firewall eg BBC trusts and relies upon MusicBrainz
  36. 36. “the Web done right” Sir Tim Berners-Lee, 2008 harks back to TimBL’s original vision for a Read/Write Web
  37. 37. Use URIs to name things Use HTTP URIs so that they can be followed When someone follows a URI, provide useful information Include links to other URIs, so that more can be discovered.
  38. 38. ECS South- Sem- Wiki- BBC Surge ampton LIBRIS Web- company Playcount Radio Central RDF Data ohloh Resex Doap- Buda- Music- space Semantic ReSIST brainz Audio- pest Eurécom Project Flickr MySpace Scrobbler QDOS SW BME Wiki exporter Wrapper Conference IRIT Corpus Toulouse RAE National BBC BBC Crunch 2001 Science FOAF SIOC ACM BBC Music Later + John Base Revyu Foundation Jamendo Peel profiles Sites TOTP Open- Guides DBLP flickr RKB Project Pub Geo- Euro- wrappr Explorer Guten- Virtuoso Guide names stat Pisa CORDIS berg Sponger eprints BBC Programmes Open Calais RKB riese World Linked ECS Magna- Fact- MDB IEEE New- South- tune book ampton castle RDF Book DBpedia Mashup Linked GeoData lingvoj Freebase LAAS- US CiteSeer Census CNRS W3C DBLP Data IBM WordNet Hannover UniRef GEO UMBEL Species DBLP Gov- Track Berlin Reactome LinkedCT UniParc Open Taxonomy Cyc Yago Drug PROSITE Daily Bank Med Pub GeneID Chem Homolo KEGG UniProt Gene Pfam ProDom Disea- CAS Gene some ChEBI Ontology Symbol OMIM Inter Pro UniSTS PDB HGNC MGI PubMed As of July 2009
  39. 39. Open Data need not be Linked Data (eg US Linked Data need not be Open Data (licensing hell)
  40. 40. how much mis-licensed? ‘Copyright’ MAY NOT APPLY!
  41. 41. cut costs, mass produce, standardise - create opportunities for growth What does this mean for Enterprise? Data as Commodity
  42. 42. Microsoft Data Centre, Dublin With data in the Cloud, barriers get lower. It’s easier to TRY...
  43. 43. Boundaries blur, walls (like this one) fall. Data and processes move back and forth. Fears eventually diminish.
  44. 44. “from Data Centre to data-centric” JP Rangaswami, 2009 data is a cost we treat all data as Core and confidential most actually Context and a commodity Think Different!
  45. 45. Closing Thoughts
  46. 46. semantics on the web bring value sometimes solving quite narrow problems The Semantic Web is part of that but only part Open Data creates opportunities, and challenges business models Linked Data takes us beyond specific applications This isn’t just for the public sector.
  47. 47. cloud of data Thank you Download this presentation Dr Paul Miller The Cloud of Data Made on a skype: cloudofdata Mac phone: +44 7769 740083 Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Licence. To view a copy of this licence, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second St, San Francisco, CA 94105, United States of America