Jeff Bertolucci of Information Week recently discussed how the evolution of Big Data may be just what the Semantic Web needs to reach its full potential. He writes, “In a phone interview with InformationWeek, Cambridge Semantics CTO Sean Martin summed up the Semantic Web in a nutshell: ‘In essence, all you’re doing is tagging data and giving it a description of what it is… If you can put more information in — more metadata with the data — then the software can interrogate the data to find out what the data is, and what it’s capable of,’ added Martin, who believes the rise of big data could help spur the adoption of Semantic Web technologies.”

Bertolucci continues, “Here’s why: ‘First of all, a lot of the big data efforts are still very crude,’ said Martin, referring to Hadoop and related technologies. ‘The tools are relatively immature, and you’ve got specialized people using them.’ And while the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) offers many benefits, including excellent redundancy capabilities for big data operations, it has its shortcomings. ‘You can create oceans and oceans of files in HDFS. But who knows what they mean?’ Martin said. ‘And how do we get lots of people to be able to use them?’ Semantics, he believes, has the opportunity to bridge that gap. ‘You can put a layer of semantics on top of any raw, immature system. So now you’re using open data standards, which are well written and increasingly world-supported’.”

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