Posts Tagged ‘JSON-LD’

The Web Is 25 — And The Semantic Web Has Been An Important Part Of It

web25NOTE: This post was updated at 5:40pm ET.

Today the Web celebrates its 25th birthday, and we celebrate the Semantic Web’s role in that milestone. And what a milestone it is: As of this month, the Indexed Web contains at least 2.31 billion pages, according to WorldWideWebSize.  

The Semantic Web Blog reached out to the World Wide Web Consortium’s current and former semantic leads to get their perspective on the roads The Semantic Web has traveled and the value it has so far brought to the Web’s table: Phil Archer, W3C Data Activity Lead coordinating work on the Semantic Web and related technologies; Ivan Herman, who last year transitioned roles at the W3C from Semantic Activity Lead to Digital Publishing Activity Lead; and Eric Miller, co-founder and president of Zepheira and the leader of the Semantic Web Initiative at the W3C until 2007.

While The Semantic Web came to the attention of the wider public in 2001, with the publication in The Scientific American of The Semantic Web by Tim Berners-Lee, James Hendler and Ora Lassila, Archer points out that “one could argue that the Semantic Web is 25 years old,” too. He cites Berners-Lee’s March 1989 paper, Information Management: A Proposal, that includes a diagram that shows relationships that are immediately recognizable as triples. “That’s how Tim envisaged it from Day 1,” Archer says.

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“Webize” Your Data with JSON-LD

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Benjamin Young of Cloudant reports, “Data is often stored and distributed in esoteric formats… Even when the data is available in a parse-able format (CSV, XML, JSON, etc), there is often little provided with the data to explain what’s inside. If there is descriptive meta data provided, it’s often only meant for the next developer to read when implementing yet-another-parser for said data. Really, it’s all quite abysmal… Enter, JSON-LD! JSON-LD (JSON Linked Data) is a simple way of providing semantic meaning for the terms and values in a JSON document. Providing that meaning with the JSON means that the next developer’s application can parse and understand the JSON you gave them.” Read more

RDF 1.1 is a W3C Recommendation

RDF 1.1Almost exactly 10 years after the publication of RDF 1.0 (10 Feb 2004, http://www.w3.org/TR/rdf-concepts/), the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has announced today that RDF 1.1 has become a “Recommendation.” In fact, the RDF Working Group has published a set of eight Resource Description Framework (RDF) Recommendations and four Working Group Notes. One of those notes, the RDF 1.1 primer, is a good starting place for those new to the standard.

SemanticWeb.com caught up with Markus Lanthaler, co-editor of the RDF 1.1 Concepts and Abstract Syntax document, to discuss this news.

photo of Markus LanthalerLanthaler said of the recommendation, “Semantic Web technologies are often criticized for their complexity–mostly because RDF is being conflated with RDF/XML. Thus, with RDF 1.1 we put a strong focus on simplicity. The new specifications are much more accessible and there’s a clear separation between RDF, the data model, and its serialization formats. Furthermore, the primer provides a great introduction for newcomers. I’m convinced that, along with the standardization of Turtle (and previously JSON-LD), this will mark an important point in the history of the Semantic Web.”

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Elasticsearch 1.0 Takes Realtime Search To The Next Level

esearchpixElasticSearch 1.0 launches today, combining Elasticsearch realtime search and analytics, Logstash (which helps you take logs and other event data from your systems and store them in a central place), and Kibana (for graphing and analyzing logs) in an end-to-end stack designed to be a complete platform for data interaction. This first major update of the solution that delivers actionable insights in real-time from almost any type of structured and unstructured data source follows on the heels of the release of the commercial monitoring solution Elasticsearch Marvel, which gives users insight into the health of Elasticsearch clusters.

Organizations from Wikimedia to Netflix to Facebook today take advantage of Elasticsearch, which vp of engineering Kevin Kluge says is distinguished by its focus from its open-source start four years ago on realtime search in a distributed fashion. The native JSON and RESTful search tool “has intelligence where when it gets a new field that it hasn’t seen before, it discerns from the content of the field what type of data it is,” he explains. Users can optionally define schemas if they want, or be more freeform and very quickly add new styles of data and still profit from easier management and administration, he says.

Models also exist for using JSON-LD to represent RDF in a manner that can be indexed by Elasticsearch. The BBC World Service Archive prototype, in fact, uses an index based on ElasticSearch and constructed from the RDF data held in a central triple store to make sure its search engine and aggregation pages are quick enough.

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JSON-LD is an official Web Standard

JSON-LD logo JSON-LD has reached the status of being an official “Recommendation” of the W3C. JSON-LD provides yet another way for web developers to add structured data into web pages, joining RDFa.The W3C documentation says, “JSON is a useful data serialization and messaging format. This specification defines JSON-LD, a JSON-based format to serialize Linked Data. The syntax is designed to easily integrate into deployed systems that already use JSON, and provides a smooth upgrade path from JSON to JSON-LD. It is primarily intended to be a way to use Linked Data in Web-based programming environments, to build interoperable Web services, and to store Linked Data in JSON-based storage engines.” This addition should be welcome news for Linked Data developers familiar with JSON and/or faced with systems based on JSON.

SemanticWeb.com caught up with the JSON-LD specfication editors to get their comments…

photo of Manu Sporny Manu Sporny (Digital Bazaar), told us, “When we created JSON-LD, we wanted to make Linked Data accessible to Web developers that had not traditionally been able to keep up with the steep learning curve associated with the Semantic Web technology stack. Instead, we wanted people that were comfortable working with great solutions like JSON, MongoDB, and REST to be able to easily integrate Linked Data technologies into their day-to-day work. The adoption of JSON-LD by Google and schema.org demonstrates that we’re well on our way to achieving this goal.”

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Keep On Keeping On

“There is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than the creation of a new order of things…. Whenever his enemies have the ability to attack the innovator, they do so with the passion of partisans, while the others defend him sluggishly, so that the innovator and his party alike are vulnerable.”
–Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince (1513)

Atlanta's flying car laneIn case you missed it, a series of recent articles have made a Big Announcement:

The Semantic Web is not here yet.

Additionally, neither are flying cars, the cure for cancer, humans traveling to Mars or a bunch of other futuristic ideas that still have merit.

A problem with many of these articles is that they conflate the Vision of the Semantic Web with the practical technologies associated with the standards. While the Whole Enchilada has yet to emerge (and may never do so), the individual technologies are finding their way into ever more systems in a wide variety of industries. These are not all necessarily on the public Web, they are simply Webs of Data. There are plenty of examples of this happening and I won’t reiterate them here.

Instead, I want to highlight some other things that are going on in this discussion that are largely left out of these narrowly-focused, provocative articles.

First, the Semantic Web has a name attached to its vision and it has for quite some time. As such, it is easy to remember and it is easy to remember that it Hasn’t Gotten Here Yet. Every year or so, we have another round of articles that are more about cursing the darkness than lighting candles.

In that same timeframe, however, we’ve seen the ascent and burn out failure of Service-Oriented Architectures (SOA), Enterprise Service Buses (ESBs), various MVC frameworks, server side architectures, etc. Everyone likes to announce $20 million sales of an ESB to clients. No one generally reports on the $100 million write-downs on failed initiatives when they surface in annual reports a few years later. So we are left with a skewed perspective on the efficacy of these big “conventional” initiatives.

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Hello 2014 (Part 2)

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Courtesy: Flickr/faul

Picking up from where we left off yesterday, we continue exploring where 2014 may take us in the world of semantics, Linked and Smart Data, content analytics, and so much more.

Marco Neumann, CEO and co-founder, KONA and director, Lotico: On the technology side I am personally looking forward to make use of the new RDF1.1 implementations and the new SPARQL end-point deployment solutions in 2014 The Semantic Web idea is here to stay, though you might call it by a different name (again) in 2014.

Bill Roberts, CEO, Swirrl:   Looking forward to 2014, I see a growing use of Linked Data in open data ‘production’ systems, as opposed to proofs of concept, pilots and test systems.  I expect good progress on taking Linked Data out of the hands of specialists to be used by a broader group of data users.

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Hello 2014

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Courtesy: Flickr/Wonderlane

Yesterday we said a fond farewell to 2013. Today, we look ahead to the New Year, with the help, once again, of our panel of experts:

Phil Archer, Data Activity Lead, W3C:

For me the new Working Groups (WG) are the focus. I think the CSV on the Web WG is going to be an important step in making more data interoperable with Sem Web.

I’d also like to draw attention to the upcoming Linking Geospatial Data workshop in London in March. There have been lots of attempts to use Geospatial data with Linked Data, notably GeoSPARQL of course. But it’s not always easy. We need to make it easier to publish and use data that includes geocoding in some fashion along with the power and functionality of Geospatial Information systems. The workshop brings together W3C, OGC, the UK government [Linked Data Working Group], Ordnance Survey and the geospatial department at Google. It’s going to be big!

[And about] JSON-LD: It’s JSON so Web developers love it, and it’s RDF. I am hopeful that more and more JSON will actually be JSON-LD. Then everyone should be happy.

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W3C’s Semantic Web Activity Folds Into New Data Activity

rsz_w3clogoThe World Wide Web Consortium has headline news today: The Semantic Web, as well as eGovernment, Activities are being merged and superseded by the Data Activity, where Phil Archer serves as Lead.  Two new workgroups also have been chartered: CSV on the Web and Data on the Web Best Practices.

What’s driving this? First, Archer explains, the Semantic Web technology stack is now mature, and it’s time to allow those updated standards to be used. With RDF 1.1, the Linked Data Platform, SPARQL 1.1, RDB To RDF Mapping Language (R2RML), OWL 2, and Provenance all done or very close to it, it’s the right time “to take that very successful technology stack and try to implement it in the wider environment,” Archer says, rather than continue tinkering with the standards.

The second reason, he notes, is that a large community exists “that sees Linked Data, let alone the full Semantic Web, as an unnecessarily complicated technology. To many developers, data means JSON — anything else is a problem. During the Open Data on the Web workshop held in London in April, Open Knowledge Foundation co-founder and director Rufus Pollock said that if he suggested to the developers that they learn SPARQL he’d be laughed at – and he’s not alone.” Archer says. “We need to end the religious wars, where they exist, and try to make it easier to work with data in the format that people like to work in.”

The new CSV on the Web Working Group is an important step in that direction, following on the heels of efforts such as R2RML. It’s about providing metadata about CSV files, such as column headings, data types, and annotations, and, with it, making it easily possible to convert CSV into RDF (or other formats), easing data integration. “The working group will define a metadata vocabulary and then a protocol for how to link data to metadata (presumably using HTTP Link headers) or embed the metadata directly. Since the links between data and metadata can work in either direction, the data can come from an API that returns tabular data just as easily as it can a static file,” says Archer. “It doesn’t take much imagination to string together a tool chain that allows you to run SPARQL queries against ’5 Star Data’ that’s actually published as a CSV exported from a spreadsheet.”

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Music Discovery Service seevl.fm Launches

screen shot of seevl.fm search: Lou ReedThis week marked the public launch of seevl.fm.

SemanticWeb.com has tracked seevl’s development through various incarnations, including a YouTube plugin and as a service for users of Deezer (available as a Deezer app). This week’s development, however, sees the service emerge as a stand-alone, cross-browser, cross-platform, mobile-ready service; a service that is free and allows for unlimited search and discovery. So, what can one do with seevl?

Following the death of Lou Reed this week, I (not surprisingly) saw mentions of the artist skyrocket across my social networks. People were sharing memories and seeking information — album and song titles, lyrics, biographies, who influenced Reed, who Reed influenced, and a lot of people simply wanted to listen to Reed’s music.  A quick look at the seevl.fm listing for Lou Reed shows a wealth of information including a music player pre-populated with some of the artist’s greatest hits.

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