Posts Tagged ‘FOAF’

Time For Another Look at WebID?

Looked into WebID lately? Maybe it’s time. The open standard for identity and login seems to be gaining more momentum following the spring W3C Workshop on Identity in the Browser. That’s when W3C WebID Incubator chair Henry Story presented a position case on the standard; that was followed up by the Berlin Social Web event that included an explanatory video of WebID that he created. Recently The Semantic Web Blog also has noticed some positive commentary in the Twittersphere about WebID’s progress, too.

It’s been a few years since Story hit upon the Subject Alternative Name field in x.509 certificates as an appropriate way to accommodate an owner’s WebID URL. (A URL to name things, says Story, webizes trust.) Since then work has been underway to ensure implementations work across browsers and web servers and different systems, and earlier this year the WebID Incubator Group was born to further advance the protocol. “The biggest part of the battle until now was just to get people to realize there is a way of solving these issues they’ve wanted to solve for a long time that was completely open, built into browsers, and could work,” says Story. “So now people are enthusiastic about the concept because it is so simple.”

The problem having been that, without the aid of the Semantic Web, using a client-side certificate will only work with one web site, making it not much more useful than relying on a user name and password at each one anyway. “So that gives a whole lot of hassle for nearly no value, until we discovered how when you merged this with the Semantic Web …you can use this technology people think of as centralized in a de-centralized way,” he says. “And suddenly it works because you use the web in a webbish way, and you distribute trust around the web.”

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People Search Service PeekYou Sees Personal ID Layer As Driving Future of Semantic Web

How does a site like PeekYou, whose goal is to re-index the public web around people, intersect with the Semantic Web?

To hear CEO Michael Hussey tell it, it’s this: “The way I thought about the Semantic Web since Day One is that it’s about deriving meaning from pages,” says Hussey. “To have meaning you have to know who the person who writes this blog is or who is referenced in this article. That’s how humans think. When you meet someone, you ask where he is from, what he does. The personal layer is what drives the future of the semantic web.”

And the personal layer is very much where PeekYou is at.

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DCMI and FOAF Team Up

The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) recently released its agreement with the Friend of a Friend Project (FOAF). According to the summary, “This agreement outlines specific measures to be undertaken in cooperation between DCMI and the FOAF Project — measures aimed primarily at reinforcing the long-term viability of the FOAF Vocabulary by addressing the risks inherent with having a single point of failure. The two organizations also see this cooperation as an opportunity for better integrating their vocabularies with alignments — mutually declared mappings between semantically overlapping terms — and for promoting the documentation of best-practice usage patterns in which the two vocabularies are used in combination.” Read more

Karen Coyle on Visualizing Linked Data

Karen Coyle, an authority on linked data in libraries whom we have recently reported on, shared her thoughts on visualizing linked data: “One of the questions I always get when talking about the Semantic Web is ‘What does it look like?’ This is kind of like asking what electricity looks like: it doesn’t so much look like anything, as it makes certain things possible. But I fully understand that people need to see something for this all to make sense, so when the webinar technology allows it I have started showing some web pages. When it doesn’t, I send people to links they can explore on their own. Since some of you may have this same question, here are a few illustrations using two sites that can present authors in a Semantic Web form.” 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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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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GoogleArt Gets a Semantic Touch-up

On Tuesday in London, the Google Art Project was announced. The project includes artworks from 17 of the world’s leading institutions including New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art and the Frick Collection; the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art in Washington DC; London’s Tate Museum, and museums in Madrid, Moscow, Amsterdam and Florence, among others. The paintings are presented in High Definition, and the site has a wonderful User Interface for exploring the artworks.

Christophe Guéret noticed that there was something missing: machine-readable, semantic data. Read more

ViewChange.Org Takes Video Into The Semantic Web In A Big Way


Here are two words that don’t necessarily spring first to mind when you think of implementing cutting-edge semantic web technology: Video and non-profit.

 Yet that’s exactly the direction taken by , a project of Link Media’s LinkTV nationwide news, events and culture television channel and website. With funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, uses video to tell stories about progress in global development, with an eye to influencing action on the part of everyone from average citizens to the media to policymakers to NGO staffers. Non-profit organizations, film distributors and individual filmmakers contribute to its own videos their documentaries, news reports, and other films to the site, and as users click through video links in featured topics, from water and sanitation to governance and transparency to environment, the site uses semantic web technologies to dynamically generate links from the video being viewed to related video media, news stories, topics and actions – links that change based on where you are in the video.   

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FOAF Spec Updated; Twitter/FOAF Bridge

While doing preparation for some upcoming talks, I noticed that the FOAF specification had been updated to version 0.97 in January. It had been quite some time since there had been activity on this vocabulary so it is good to see some love shown to it. According to the specification, some of the new changes include:

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David Wood – O’Reilly Media Joins the Semantic Web

O’Reilly Media (, the current name for the geek publishing giant founded by Tim O’Reilly, has finally joined the Semantic Web.  O’Reilly’s coining of the term "Web 2.0" and early misunderstandings of the Semantic Web stack lead some to think that he didn’t see much value in machine readable information.  That seems to have changed, at least in within <a href="">O’Reilly Labs</a>.

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