Structured Content

Wikidata Phase 2 In Full Swing

In December the Semantic Web Blog spoke with Wikidata project director Denny Vrandecic about progress on Phase 1 of the work to create a free knowledge base about the world that can be read and edited by humans and machines (see story here). At the time, Vrandecic explained that January would begin the roll-out of language-by-language editions – first up were Hungarian, Hebrew and Italian – on the Wikipedias.

Last week brought another language on board, as Wikidata Phase 1 went live on English Wikipedia, with Wikidata language links supplementing locally-hosted ones there too.  March 6 should see deployment to the Wikipedias that do not have language links.

In an important update, Phase 2 of the overall effort to centralize access to and management of structured data – which was in development as Phase 1 progressed – saw its first fruits for use on Wikidata.org (not yet on Wikipedia) earlier this month: Infoboxes.

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Semantic Technologist Gets In On The Ground Floor

One of the exciting things about being a semantic technologist is the opportunity to be in on the ground floor of things as companies revamp, revise, and renew their infrastructures for the Web 3.0 world.

That’s the position that Keith DeWeese finds himself in. DeWeese recently moved from The Tribune Company, where he led efforts in applying semantic technology to the publisher’s content (see story here), to Ascend Learning, a company that provides technology-based education products with a focus on the healthcare sector.

There, as principal content architect he is again championing the power of semantic technology for online content. “What’s cool is that Ascend is in a state of redefining what it does, how it works, its whole platform,” DeWeese says. Ascend wants to be able to take people from the beginning stages of their career, when they’re learning the basics, and work with them throughout their life, so that as they progress in their careers and become more knowledgeable about their profession or specialization and work toward different exams, it’s got the tools to engage with them at that part of their lifecycle.

“It’s really great because there’s an openness and willingness to try different approaches to making content available to end users.”

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Google Debuts Data Highlighter: An Easy Way Into Structured Data

Structured data makes the Web go around. Search engines love it when webmasters mark up page content. Google’s rich snippets, for instance, leverages sites’ use of microdata (preferred format), or RDFa or microformats: It makes it possible to highlight in a few lines specific types of content in search results, to give users some insight about what’s on the page and its relationship to their queries – prep time for a recipe, for instance.

Plenty of web sites generated from structured data haven’t added HTML markup to their pages, though, so they aren’t getting the benefits that come with search engines understanding the information on those web pages.

Maybe that will change, now that Google has introduced Data Highlighter, an easy way to tell its search engine about the structured data behind their web pages. A video posted by Google product management director Jack Menzel gives the snapshot: “Data Highlighter is a point- and-click tool that allows any webmaster to show Google the patterns of structured data on their pages without modifying the pages themselves,” he says.

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Introduction to: SKOS

Nametag: "Hello, my name is SKOS"SKOS, which stands for Simple Knowledge Organization System, is a W3C standard, based on other Semantic Web standards (RDF and OWL), that provides a way to represent controlled vocabularies, taxonomies and thesauri. Specifically, SKOS itself is an OWL ontology and it can be written out in any RDF syntax.

Before we dive into SKOS, what is the difference between Controlled Vocabulary, Taxonomy and Thesaurus?

controlled vocabulary is a list of terms which a community or organization has agreed upon. For example: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday are the days of the week.

taxonomy is a controlled vocabulary organized in a hierarchy. For example, we can have the terms Computer, Tablet and Laptop and the concepts Tablet and Laptop are subclasses of Computer because a Tablet and Laptop are types of Computers.

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Trick or Treat: A Semantic Grab Bag Of Entertainment For the Occasion

Photo credit: Flickr/Erwiss, peace&love

It’s that spooky time of year again. With a happy Halloween to all, we present a selection of Halloween entertainment to dive into between answering the door for trick-or-treaters, or whenever you might like to have a little scarefest. They all come courtesy of searches done on some of the web’s semantically-enabled platforms.

Movies, from Jinni.com:

A search on Jinni, the semantic movie and TV “taste engine” that we first covered here, for “serial killer” theme, set in the 20th century in small towns, brings up some classics in the list of 41 that’s displayed, as well as some you may have missed when originally shown in theatres. Some in the list:

Halloween (of course): The 1978 John Carpenter-directed classic that started Jamie Lee Curtis on her fright-girl career (long before the yogurt days).  As a line in the summary says, the film “turned the slasher movie into a viable, successful genre. Halloween has been copied, parodied and even turned into a franchise of its own, but the original is still considered the best of the bunch.”

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Pfizer Moves Semantic Tech Forward, Helping Business Respond To Cost Pressures And Realize Efficiency Gains

A couple of years back, The Semantic Web Blog visited with Vijay Bulusu to gain some insight into how pharma giant Pfizer Inc. was moving forward with semantic technology (see article here). At last week’s Semantic Technology and Business Conference in New York City, Bulusu, director, informatics and innovation at Pfizer, provided additional perspective on the issue – first, during the presentation on Using Linked Semantic Data in Biomedical Research and Pharmaceuticals (see coverage of that here), and then in a follow-up conversation.

A struggle for pharma companies, Bulusu notes, sits in driving standards for data that exists across system silos, so it is broadly applicable across groups. A transaction like creating a batch of materials, doing analytical testing on it and enabling clinical trial releases is the work of multiple groups of people in departments like R&D entering data across different systems.

The foundational layer needed to support data aggregation in a persistent graph semantic database and visualization with collaborative, semantic knowledge maps “is all about data already in transactional, silo’d systems,” Bulusu says. “We want to make sure that across those systems, key data is entered consistently for entities.” That means limiting them to selecting via a drop-down list from a vocabulary that is consistently managed and published from a single source to all these transaction systems, so the same entity is called by the same name as it traverses systems to support analytics and other requirements. That, he says, “is where we directly impact the day-to-day operational work of users.”

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Google’s Rich Snippet Testing Tool Revised and Renamed Structured Data Testing Tool

Google has released the structured data testing tool, a new and renamed version of its rich snippet testing tool. According to a blog by Yong Zhu, on behalf of the rich snippets testing tool team, improvements include:

 

  • How rich snippets are displayed in the testing tool to better match how they appear in search results;
  • A new visual design to make it clearer what structured data it can extract from the page, and how that may be shown in search results;
  • And the availability of the tool in languages other than English (French, Spanish, Arabic, for example) to help webmasters from around the world build structured-data-enabled websites.

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The Semantic Link – September, 2012

Paul Miller, Bernadette Hyland, Ivan Herman, Eric Hoffer, Andraz Tori, Peter Brown, Christine Connors, Eric Franzon

On Friday, September 15, a group of Semantic Technology thought leaders from around the globe met with their host and colleague, Paul Miller, for the latest installment of the Semantic Link, a monthly podcast covering the world of Semantic Technologies. This episode includes a discussion about Big Data and Semantics, as well as some discussion of general trends in the Semantic Technology space.
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Google Now Headed To Galaxy S3 As Samsung And Apple Lock Horns Over Siri In Court

The Google Now intelligent personal assistant service was introduced mid-summer with the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system for the Nexus 7 tablet and a variety of Nexus devices. Originally it was not available for the Samsung Galaxy S3, which offers its voice-enabled mobile personal assistant, S Voice (see story here). But reports began circulating this week that Android 4.1 Jelly Bean will come to international Galaxy S III models by next week, and it also was noted in reports during Google Now’s launch that that service could work in tandem with other voice assistants, letting the user choose which assistant to enable.

Google Now, the company says in a video, provides “the predictive power of now. You get just what you need to know right when you need it.” Users can type in search terms or activate voice searches for quick answers to queries for sports team updates, weather forecasts, and the like, getting information back either as voice responses or as text. It reportedly gets an assist from Google’s Knowledge Graph, a database of 500 million entities, to deliver its capabilities.

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Amid Mixed Picture For VC Investments, Silk Gets More Seed Funding

Just as reports are coming in that venture-backed companies based in Europe recently have raised more money but in a fewer number of deals, word comes from the team at Amsterdam-based Silk that its latest seed round has brought in an additional $1.6 million.

According to new analysis from Dow Jones VentureSource, VC-backed companies based in Europe raised EUR 1.3 billion through 273 venture capital deals during the second quarter of 2012. That marked a 14 percent increase in capital raised but a 20 percent decline in deals from the same period last year, it said. Additionally, second-round deals accounted for 19 percent of deal flow and 18 percent of capital invested, down from 25 percent and 28 percent, respectively, in the year-ago period, it said.

Silk in May 2011 completed a $475,000 funding round led by Atomico, the venture capital firm headed up by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström.

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