Archives: March 2011

A Single Cell

CellsLife begins as a single cell. It grows, dividing, procreating, networking itself until an amazing creature forms. We are surrounded by these vast networks. We ARE these vast networks.

Oh, the power! The amazing things these networks can do: feats of athletics, stunning computations, laughing, questioning. And – oh! – how much more amazing when these networks network! Applause, discovery, joy, answering. Read more

CLOUD Works Toward a Contextual Markup Language

The Consortium for Local Ownership and Use of Data (CLOUD) is advocating for a contextual markup language (CTML). According to a recent article, “CLOUD is an open source effort to rebuild the Internet around people, not web pages. Much like we tag categories on Flickr, CLOUD tags digital identities with a ‘Who tag’.  This tag would connect you to everything, dropping barriers to entry everywhere, because you’d be tagged in every existing and future database. In the physical world, people are connected by a contextual layer. Why shouldn’t it be the same in the semantic web?” Read more

Explaining HTML5 and RDF

A new article from provides some insight into HTML5 and RDF for those of us who don’t work on the technical side of things. The article explains that “since the data on the web is often in forms that make it computationally complex to parse or recognize, new HTML tags and standards had to be developed and integrated with HTML5 to provide this functionality.” Read more

Semantic Web Jobs: Talis, Brooksource, and Alion

Talis is looking for a Semantic Web Technical Consultant in Birmingham. According to the description, “We are developing consulting services focused on the Semantic Web, Linked Data and the Talis Platform. We are currently offering a range of professional services that cover everything from training on Semantic Web technologies, through to data modeling, conversions, and bespoke application and prototype development. We are looking for talented individuals to join our team to help expand our capabilities in the areas of data transformation and visualization.” Read more

Finding Out Whether Controlled Vocabularies Matter

A survey is currently being conducted that raises the question, “Do controlled vocabularies matter?” Professionals who use controlled vocabularies are asked to provide anonymous answers to the brief questionnaire. Participants can provide their email addresses to receive a notification of the survey’s findings after it concludes on May 18th. Read more

Semantics Takes Presence Beyond State in Unified Communications

The presence of presence as part of unified communications deployments increasingly is being felt by enterprise users. It’s paying off in better productivity, but it’s when presence gets semantic that the real magic can start to happen.

That’s something that DERI and Cisco, as part of the multi-party Lion2: Enabling Networked Knowledge project funded by Science Foundation Ireland, are exploring. The idea is to “bring more granularity and more meaning to presence than state,” says Cisco lead architect Keith Griffin – that is, an indication that you are available or away. After all, just because you’re sitting at your desk doesn’t necessarily mean you are fully or even partially available, and just because you are on the phone doesn’t necessarily mean you aren’t free to respond to instant messages. “The Semantic Web provides more intelligence to that.”

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Semantic Tools for Businesses

This new article takes a look at some of the best semantic tools for businesses today, offering “an overview of what’s available to help businesses deploy and exploit semantic Web infrastructures, along with a look at what’s still needed for the technology to achieve its potential.”

The article goes into a discussion of the W3C standards for defining a basic semantic infrastructure, including SPARQL, RDF, and OWL, noting that “The final versions of these standards are supported by leading semantic Web platform vendors such as Cambridge Semantics, Expert System, Revelytix, Endeca, Lexalytics, Autonomy and Topquadrant.”

Next the article describes several building blocks and software tools: “Jena is an open-source Java framework for building semantic Web applications. It includes APIs for RDF, RDFS and OWL, a SPARQL query engine and a rule-based inference engine. Another platform, Sesame, is an open-source framework for storing, inferencing and querying RDF data. Most leading semantic Web platforms come with knowledge repositories that describe general terms, concepts and acronyms, giving users a running start in creating ontologies.”

See the full article for further information on current semantic web tools and consider attending SemTech 2011 to learn first-hand about the present and future of semantic technology.

Image: Courtesy Flickr/ L. Marie

Will Computers Replace People in the Workplace?

A new article from Bill Ives discusses that lingering fear in the back of our minds: are computers replacing people? Ives suggests, “That is not really the question to ask. It should rather be conceived as how computers can complement people.” Read more

GoogleArt – Semantic Data Wrapper (Technical Update)

StarryNight-GoogleArt[EDITOR'S NOTE: Recently, we reported on the creation of a semantic data wrapper for the GoogleArt project. At the time, the wrapper only offered data for individual paintings and there was no good way to access the full data set. In this deeply technical guest post by the wrapper's creator, Christophe Guéret, he outlines how to grab the full data set.

If you do something interesting with this data, we would love to hear about it! Leave a comment below.]

Some weeks ago, a first version of a wrapper for the GoogleArt project from Google was put online (see also this blog post).
This wrapper, initially offering semantic data only for individual paintings, has now been extended to museums. The front page of GoogleArt is also available as RDF, providing a machine-readible list of museums. This index page makes it possible, and easy, to download an entire snapshot of the data set so let’s see how to do that.

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Going Mainstream: Dell Adopts Semantic Web Technologies

You know Semantic Web technologies are going mainstream when the company that is so closely associated with making PCs mainstream is getting in on the action. That company is Dell, and who knows but that the work it’s pursuing in the Semantic Web today won’t have just as much of an impact as its supply chain innovations did to help drive its success in those early PC days?

The proof-of-concept Semantic Web work at Dell is taking place under the direction of Yijing (Jenna) Zhou, enterprise architecture consultant, and Chary Tamirisa, enterprise architecture senior consultant. What’s the impetus for Dell to pursue this? Zhou and Tamirisa provided some insight into the whys, whats, and hows in an email discussion with The Semantic Web Blog.

“The questions raised initially were:  why Semantic Web and how can Dell benefit from its use?” Zhou and Tamirisa note. “Our answer is as follows: Semantic technology is a key enabler for Dell to model enterprise business objects to enable end-to-end mapping and reuse across current and future business models, processes, and systems. We are leveraging enterprise architecture management support for semantic technology and ontology modeling to build broader awareness and knowledge across our business and IT stakeholders.  Our long-term plan is to provide tangible value propositions that address current and future business challenges and opportunities. We are also focused on developing the change management strategies required to enable and adopt the techniques and technologies related to semantic-based solutions.”

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