2011 SemTechBiz Berlin

A Marriage Made For The Global, Digital Economy

At the recent SemTech Berlin conference, husband-and-wife team Michael Trevor McDonald and Kim Chandler McDonald, CTO and Executive VP, respectively, of KimmiC, led a session that discussed a marriage of a different sort: that between the Semantic Web and the user interface.  The session was described as providing the audience insight into the benefits of the semantic web, given that so much of the world’s economic brain/ecosystem is tied up in the relationships between companies, consumers and suppliers – an interaction between systems and people that is a real-life ‘Matrix’ whose ubiquity is hampered by the lack of a common way of talking about things such that they can be utilized and shared simply, and in a confidential, secure, and vendor-neutral manner.

The Semantic Web Blog had an opportunity to have an email discussion with the Australian-based minds behind KimmiC, and its FlatWorld cloud-based technology for enabling the global, digital economy, to learn more about the SemWeb/UI marriage.

Semantic Web Blog: Help us better understand this idea of The Matrix in the context described – considering the movie, is that a positive analogy and what does the Semantic Web have to do with it?

Michael: I think we can use the analogy pretty well as is. What we have seen in the market is essentially a few large companies trying to subvert the intent of the web into a controlled matrix (controlled by them) that they can exploit – it is, in fact, the cornerstone of their business models.

We view that consumers, once they become more aware of it, will see themselves as a “knowledge/insight” commodity in that they a) control their information and b) control who, when and where (what part) companies/friends/family etc. have access to them – it is most probably the next big frontier.

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Kasabi’s Presence at SemTechBiz Berlin

Richard Wallis continues his coverage from SemTechBiz Berlin with a recap of the first day of the conference. Wallis writes, “Something that struck me throughout the day was the number of references to the Kasabi Data Marketplace during the day.  Well yes, you might say, you are a Kasabi Partner and Kasabi Staff members Knud Möller and Benjamin Nowack gave presentations.  Of course you would be right.  However, I also noticed references to it in other presentations and in general conversations.” Read more

Learning about WikiData at #SemTechBiz Berlin

Richard Wallis is reporting from SemTechBiz in Berlin this week. He recently wrote, “One of the more eagerly awaited presentations at the Semantic Tech & Business Conference in Berlin today was a late addition to the program from Denny Vrandecic.  With the prominence of Dbpedia in the Linked Open Data Cloud, anything new from Wikipedia with data in it was bound to attract attention, and we were not disappointed.” Read more

SemTech Berlin 2012 Conference Explorer App Gives a Taste of Linked-Data-As-A-Service

Want to have a peek into the semantic applications that can result when the cloud and Linked -Data-as-a-service join up? Start with a trip here, where you’ll find the SemTech Berlin 2012 Conference Explorer (among other event explorers). It lets attendees browse through conference metadata – and more – to help them plan for next week’s event.

The application was built with fluid Operations’ Information Workbench, which is a platform for building self-service Linked Data cloud apps; the company also provides the eCloudManager Product Suite, for public and private cloud management. With Information Workbench, users can get over some of the challenges of making Linked Data useable, such as automatically discovering and integrating data sources, dealing with heterogeneity in data sets and access, and planning end-user oriented interfaces and interaction paradigms, says Peter Haase,  a senior architect at fluid Operations, who will be speaking about Linked Data-as-a-service at SemTech Berlin.

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Is Your Business Ready for the Semantic Web?

What makes a business ripe to adopt semantic web technologies? Those engaged in cross-enterprise business processes, in particular where models based on web technologies drive greater collaboration and increased dynamism, are on the list, says Professor Adrian Paschke,  Corporate Semantic Web chair at the institute of computer science at the Freie Universität Berlin and head of the InnoProfile project Corporate Semantic Web.

“That is motivation to apply semantic web technologies because you no longer are working in closed walls where you build your own schema and database model, but you need a flexible semantic model that easily integrates with others,” says Paschke.

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Learn about Schema.org at SemTechBiz Berlin

One of the more highly anticipated panels at next month’s Semantic Technology and Business Conference (#SemTechBiz) in Berlin, Germany, will be the closing keynote panel, Schema.org – Where Are We Now. The panel will feature Peter Mika of Yahoo!, Sandro Hawke of the W3C, Dan Brickley of schema.org at Google, and our own Eric Franzon. The combined knowledge and breadth of experience of these semantic web experts will make this panel an unmissable event at SemTechBiz’s first Berlin-based conference.

Featured Session

Schema.org – Where Are We Now? with (left to right below) Eric Franzon, Peter Mika, Sandro Hawke, & Dan Brickley

photos of Eric Franzon, Peter Mika, Sandro Hawke, and Dan Brickley

Google, Yahoo!, Bing, and Yandex all rely on structured data markup in HTML pages to improve the display of search results, making it easier for people to find the right web pages. Last June, these search engines announced a joint initiative called schema.org. Schema.org is a shared markup vocabulary that webmasters can use to describe information in their pages in ways recognized by these major search providers. This panel will explore the current state of standards activities, tools, and implementations of schema.org with leaders from the schema.org effort and W3C. Read more

Big Data For Lean Startups, Or, A Poor Man’s Watson

What do big companies have that most emerging businesses don’t have to help them get value from Big Data? Well, to start with, there’s lots of money and a ton of technology resources.

Never fear. At the upcoming Semantic Tech & Business conference in Berlin, Christopher Testa, CTO of startup WhiteBox Inc., plans to give companies with considerably fewer resources than giants like Google and IBM insight into how to use Big Data as a small, lean startup. His guidance will draw from his own past experiences at Google training AdSense; lessons learned studying the development of IBM’s Watson; and his current efforts to apply Big Data principles to create an expert system for amateur radio operator license exams at his own startup, with limited engineering resources. Most recently Testa was head of engineering at Ad.ly, and that will factor into advice about how to run a data center with free and open source solutions, too.

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Lessons Learned On the Road To Linked Data

What’s the path from an XML based e-government metadata application to a linked data version? At the upcoming Semantic Tech & Business Conference in Berlin, the road taken by the Dutch government will be described by Paul Hermans, lead architect of Belgian project Erfgoedplus.be, which uses RDF/XML, OWL and SKOS to describe relationships to heritage types, concepts, objects, people, place and time.

Some 1,000 individual organizations compose the Dutch government, each with their own websites. An effort to employ a search engine a few years ago to spider those different and separate web sites to have one single point of access didn’t work as anticipated. The next step to bring some order was to assign all the documents published on those sites a common kernel of metadata fields, which led to building an XML application to enable a structured approach. Linked Data entered the picture about a year and a half ago.

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Easing The Job Of Working With Linked Data

Working with Linked Data could be a little bit easier than it is, and a collaborative project between MediaEvent Services and the Freie Universität of Berlin aims to make it so.

The open source Linked Data Integration Framework (LDIF), which will be a topic of discussion at the upcoming Semantic Technology & Business Conference in Berlin, seeks to address the pain that can occur when attempting to work with distinct data sets, perhaps each one spanning several gigabytes, that are loaded into one triple store. The LDIF approach is to perform transformations to unify the data outside of the triple store, to improve performance and scalability, as well as make it easier to stay up to date with various Linked data sets. A Hadoop version of the LDIF framework just launched, for processing a virtually unlimited amount of data on a cluster.

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Link Power in Product Data

Oleg Shilovitsky, CEO, Inforbix recently commented on the exciting events that will be happening this year in the Semantic Web world, commenting, “One of the events I’m afraid I may miss is the upcoming SEMTECHBIZ in Berlin this February. I was catching online program and session information for the conference. One of the sessions caught my attention: The simple power of the link. Richard Wallis, technology evangelist of Kasabi will be talking about the power of linked data and some examples of implementations.” Read more