Archives: August 2011

How to Add Semantic Markup to your Site or Application? Start Here!

Structured Data on the Web -

Recently, a new resource appeared on the Web to help developers navigate the waters around various approaches to adding semantic markup to websites and applications. We caught up with the creators of the newly launched, to learn more about this project.  They are:

Stéphane Corlosquet,

Gregg Kellogg

Gregg Kellogg,
Kellogg Associates

Manu Sporny

Manu Sporny,
Digital Bazaar, Inc.

Q: What is “Structured Data on the Web” (the site and the concept)?

GK: We wanted to provide a place for people to learn about the different ways in which publishers can add semantic information to their web sites and applications. There is confusion in the marketplace, partly due to the introduction of, which has raised the awareness of structured data with web developers. is a one-stop-shop to learn about the different mechanisms available to developers to take advantage of this.
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Semantic Web Jobs: Capgemini

Capgemini is looking for a Cognos Front End/Semantic Layer Lead in Cleveland, OH. According to the post, “As a part of the Technology Services Group, the Manager will be responsible for the full systems lifecycle from requirements gathering through implementation of IT solutions. The Manager will work closely with clients and must demonstrate individual functional and professional knowledge to ensure work products and deliverables are of the highest caliber. The Manager will also apply project management expertise to identify, develop and implement techniques to improve engagement productivity, increase efficiencies, mitigate risks, resolve issues and optimize cost savings for clients, and to ensure that all project deliverables are completed on time and within budget by more junior team members. The Manager will also carry a yearly target for managed revenue.”

Required experience for the position includes: Read more

Brief Survey of NLP Tools & Services

We often discuss text analysis and natural language processing (NLP) here at, so we were pleased to see this nice, if incomplete, survey of tools and services for NLP. The article begins, “Although Natural Language Processing (NLP) has been around since the 1950s in the computer science world, more and more uses for this powerful technology are being uncovered every day. Search engines like Google use NLP as one of the ways they extract meaning from web pages, Microsoft has a whole team of people working on NLP projects, and a number of universities have dedicated major resources working on the advancement of NLP, but what about everyone else? NLP has many uses going beyond behemoth websites including uses for the enterprise, small business, and end users.” Read more

Let the Sun Shine In On the SuperCongress, 2012 Election Candidates, And All The Rest

Image Courtesy: Flickr/Kevin Burkett

It’s been a summer of drama in the U.S.: the battles around the debt limit and the S&P’s downgrading of the U.S.’s Triple A rating, all fueling citizens’ already fueled concerns about the economy and jobs and the nation’s future. Now, the controversial Super Congress is taking shape to cut discretionary funding and direct spending by $1.5 trillion through 2021.

In light of the roller-coaster ride, any takers to see what they can do with the Sunlight Foundation Sunlight Lab’s recently introduced Influence Explorer Text API? Another step in the Foundation’s mission to make government transparent and accountable, the API provides real-time textual analysis for the Foundation’s Inbox Influence plug-in that lets users see in their emails the political contributions behind names mentioned in these messages.

We had a chance to have an email conversation with Ethan Phelps-Goodman, Project Lead: Data Commons, at the Sunlight Foundation to better understand what the API can do.

Semantic Web Blog: With lawmakers tapped for the Super Congress, we’re starting to see stories about their political patrons, their special interest connections, and so on. How can the Influence Explorer API be leveraged to help the public better understand these individuals and their political backgrounds/agendas? And if you’ve been using it to that end in recent days, come across anything interesting the public should know about?

Phelps-Goodman: Influence Explorer can give a great deal of background on the fundraising activities of members of congress. A recent series of posts from The Atlantic is a great example. Our own Reporting group also did a series of influence profiles of the Super Congress. Even more interesting will be the lobbying activity around the Super Congress’ work. Tracking the money spent on lobbying will have to wait until the disclosure period ends at the end of the year. But you can get a head start on things now at our Lobbyist Registration Tracker, where new lobbying contracts are updated as they happen.

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New Journal Article on XBRL & Semantic Web

The International Journal of Business and Systems Research has released an article entitled XBRL, semantic web and web services. The article is available here for a fee. The abstract states, “Computer and information technology innovations have revolutionised how business is conducted and how information is exchanged across systems. Technologies, such as eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL), semantic web and web services, have emerged to transform the landscape of business information provision, exchange and consumption.” Read more

Dutch Legislation Made Available as Linked Data

A recent article reports, “The Leibniz Center for Law of the University of Amsterdam has made all Dutch legislation available as CEN MetaLex and Linked Open Data through the MetaLex Document Server portal (MDS). ‘The XML source documents currently made available by the Dutch government are simply not good enough’, says Rinke Hoekstra, researcher at the Leibniz Center, and the Knowledge Representation group of the VU University Amsterdam.” Read more

Semantic Web Jobs: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is looking for a Post Bachelors RA – Semantic Technologies Developer in Richland, WA. According to the post, “A well-qualified candidate will have both knowledge engineering skills and software development skills. Knowledge engineering skills should include, but are not limited to, ontology authoring, knowledge elicitation from subject matter experts, a strong ability to use knowledge representation languages such as Ontology Web Language (OWL), a working knowledge of semantic rule languages such as SWRL, a working knowledge of semantic web query technologies such as SPARQL, and the ability to use semantic technology development tools for editing and testing.” Read more

Zite Sells to CNN for Just Over $20M

[UPDATED: 4:10pm ET]
Last week, our own Jennifer Zaino spoke to Zite CEO, Mark Johnson about the startup, Zite.  One of the topics was the speculation around a rumoured acquisition by CNN. Zite is an iPad app that leverages deeper technology to provide an individually personalized experience. Zite surfaces content to users that they will find most interesting from a variety of sources across the Web by learning users’ preferences and getting smarter as it’s used. Today, news broke that, indeed, Zite has sold to CNN.
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Why Ontologies are Needed in Health Care Applications

Joel Amoussou addressed the question recently of why ontologies are needed in health care applications. Amoussou writes, “at the practical level, ontologies can help us verify the soundness of statements in messages based on our conceptualization of the world. Information models in healthcare often take the form of an XML schema, a Schematron schema, or a relational database schema. One distinguishing characteristic of ontologies is that they are based on an Open World Assumption (OWA) which is based on the AAA slogan or Anyone can say Anything about Any topic. Statements that are not included in an ontology are considered unknown as opposed to false.” Read more

Securing Ourselves through Semantics

A recent article takes a look at three IT trends that are driving information security evolution. One of these trends is semantic security: “Like IT, humans network to exchange information. However, information security works at a syntactic level, while humans work at a semantic level. Commonly implemented security controls can detect individual words or terms and can block entire traffic for certain ports or addresses. These security controls currently do not work at the semantic level. I may accept and trust news from a friend that ‘the Dow dropped 500 points today.’ However, I would not trust the same friend with the statement that ‘today’s 500 point Dow drop proves the financial collapse of the United States will initiate Armageddon.’” Read more