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Cooking up the Semantic Web

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How is the Semantic Web vision unfolding and what does it take for the Web to fully reach its potential and evolve from a Web of Documents to a Web of Data through universal data representation standards.

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Cooking up the Semantic Web

  1. 1. Cooking Up the Semantic Web
  2. 2. 1 In the not so distant 1989 hardly anyone has ever imagined an informational space where all the information from a variety of computers, file formats and networks would be linked.
  3. 3. 2 Except for one person: sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web.
  4. 4. Back then, at CERN, he was working on his vision for the Web, which in its very essence was about “anything being potentially connected to anything”. 3
  5. 5. “Vague, but exciting”, were the words that Mike Sendall, Tim-Berners Lee’s boss wrote on the proposal, allowing him to continue. 4
  6. 6. And this is how the World Wide Web started its unfolding - as an Information Management proposal, at the European Organization for Nuclear Research. 5
  7. 7. 6 Today, the Web is a powerful means for collaboration. We publish, share, access, use and reuse documents and files of all conceivable formats. This brings profound changes to society’s patterns, empowering users and fostering the emergence of highly networked communities.
  8. 8. 7 Yet, as exciting and disruptive as this is, the Web hasn’t reached it’s full potential. There’s one more layer to be built. A layer that will take collaboration to the next level. A level where computers are able to manipulate information on our behalf, meaningfully.
  9. 9. 8 This next stage of the Web, Tim Berners-Lee saw as an extension of the current Web and called the Semantic Web.
  10. 10. 9 For the Semantic Web to unfold, data on the Web are to be put in an understandable and processable by machines format, rather than locked into siloed, proprietary data formats that impede storage, access and retrieval.
  11. 11. Not unlike the document web, the data web involves universal, agreed upon standards. It is important that data pieces are available in such standard formats. 10
  12. 12. 11 For example, just like there’s lingua franca for representing documents on the Web and that is the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), RDF is a common format for data to be represented and shared.
  13. 13. 12 A standard model for data interchange on the Web, RDF is among the main building blocks of the Semantic Web Stack, together with other Semantic Web technologies, such as OWL, SKOS, SPARQL etc.
  14. 14. These standards, along with the other Web standards, are being developed at The World Wide Web Consortium. They are solid and have as much industry support as the basic specifications that make WWW work: HTTP and HTML. 13
  15. 15. It is these Semantic Web standards, that will make the Semantic Web function. And they are not only a matter of technical advances but also a matter of social agreement. 14
  16. 16. This is why, as far as data are concerned, the Web is far from done. Still, the same daunting task of managing, sharing, reusing and processing is before us, who weave the web. Only this time the task applies to machine-readable information. 15
  17. 17. M a k i n g s e n s e o f t e x t a n d d a t a Using universal data representation standards will allow for more effective search, automation, integration, and reuse of content across various applications, opening countless opportunities for more cooperation. 16
  18. 18. M a k i n g s e n s e o f t e x t a n d d a t a People and organizations, as the W3C Data Activity’s vision has it, will be able to share data in a way that enables others to derive and add value, and to utilize it in ways that suit them. 17
  19. 19. M a k i n g s e n s e o f t e x t a n d d a t a The Web will evolve into a space where “everything is linked to everything”, and something more, information is shared and understood not only by people but also by machines. 18
  20. 20. M a k i n g s e n s e o f t e x t a n d d a t a The use of Semantic Web Standards will allow for the communication of computer systems capable of understanding mountains of data. That in turn will add machine analytical power to our creative processes of knowledge management and discovery, be it across the Web or within various enterprise datasets. 19
  21. 21. www.ontotext.com You can also reach us via email at info@ontotext.com and directly by calling 1-866-972-6686 (North America), or +359 2 974 61 60 (Europe) Interested to learn more about how and why Semantic Web Standards are serving more and more enterprises to make sense of their data? Check the Knowledge Hub section on ontotext.com for white papers, case studies and more resources on semantic technologies.

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