Martin Hepp

Martin Hepp is a professor of General Management and E-business at Bundeswehr University Munich in Germany and a professor of Computer Science at the University of Innsbruck in Innsbruck, Austria, where he leads the research group “Semantics in Business Information Systems”.  Martin holds a Master’s degree in Business Management and Business Information Systems and a Ph.D. in Business Information Systems from the University of Würzburg (Germany).

For more information, see http://www.heppnetz.de and http://www.unibw.de/ebusiness/
 

New Schema.org Extension Proposal for the Automotive Industry

Photo: Interior of automobileThere is no doubt about it: Schema.org is a big success. It has motivated hundreds of thousands of Web site owners to add structured data markup to their HTML templates and brought the idea of exchanging structured data over the WWW from the labs and prototypes to real business.

Unfortunately, the support for information about the sales and rental of vehicles, namely cars, motorbikes, trucks, boats, and bikes has been insufficient for quite a while. Besides two simple classes for http://schema.org/Vehicle and http://schema.org/Car with no additional properties, there was nothing in the vocabulary that would help marking up granular vehicle information in new or used car listing sites or car rental offers.

Recently, Mirek Sopek, Karol Szczepański and I have released a fully-fledged extension proposal for schema.org that fixes this shortcoming and paves the ground for much better automotive Web sites in the light of marketing with structured data.

This proposal builds on the following vehicle-related extensions for GoodRelations, the e-commerce model of schema.org:

It adds the core classes, properties and enumerated values for describing cars, trucks, busses, bikes, and boats and their features. For describing commercial aspects of related offers, http://schema.org/Offer already provides the necessary level of detail. Thus, our proposal does not add new elements for commercial features.

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Semantic Web-based E-Commerce: Webmasters, Get Ready!


Executive Summary

Within the past few months, the Semantic Web has become something any Webmaster must take serious, because the key components are ready for production usage, and there are tangible benefits: With GoodRelations, there is now a standard vocabulary for e-commerce, RDFa provides a stable syntax for embedding such data in existing Web pages, and Yahoo Searchmonkey creates a direct business incentive for companies of any size to care.

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