This is Part I of a two-part series. Part II will be published later this month.
Individuals, communities and organizations increasingly require the ability to combine fragmented data sources into easily searched and navigated wholes. From combining family playlists to merging scientific databases and spreadsheets, the need for integrating data and metadata from multiple sources into a single, Web-based publishing framework is increasing. Allowing users to publish, explore and visualize data in useful ways is a powerful mechanism for identifying, organizing and sharing patterns inherent in this data. Web data publishing demands easier data integration and customizable ways to interact with the data such as faceted browsing, spatial or temporal-based visualizations, tag clouds, and full-text search.