Posts Tagged ‘LOD’

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.

Read more

Linked Data at the US Dept. of Veterans Affairs – Case Study Radio, Ep. 2 - Case Study RadioOur podcast series, “Case Study Radio,” sponsored by Zepheira, focuses on stories of applications of Semantic Technologies. In the latest episode, we speak with Ramanathan “R.V.” Guha about a project at the United States Department of Veterans Affairs that utilized Linked Data and the vocabulary to develop a mechanism by which returning veterans can find employment opportunities. The work was originally announced in 2011 by and the White House, and has seen significant growth and adoption in the time since that announcement.

Linked Data At The VA – Case Study Radio – Episode 2 by
Read more

First of Four Getty Vocabularies Made Available as Linked Open Data

Getty Vocabularies - Linked Open Data logoJim Cuno, the President and CEO of the Getty, announced yesterday that the Getty Research Institute has released the Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT) ® as Linked Open Data. Cuno said, “The Art & Architecture Thesaurus is a reference of over 250,000 terms on art and architectural history, styles, and techniques. It’s one of the Getty Research Institute’s four Getty Vocabularies, a collection of databases that serves as the premier resource for cultural heritage terms, artists’ names, and geographical information, reflecting over 30 years of collaborative scholarship.”

The data set is available for download at under an Open Data Commons Attribution License (ODC BY 1.0). offers a SPARQL endpoint, as well as links to the Getty’s Semantic Representation documentation, the Getty Ontology, links for downloading the full data sets, and more.

Read more

Fighting Global Hunger with Semantics, And How You Can Help

Hunger is a critical issue affecting approximately 870 million people worldwide. With new technologies, research, and telecommunication, we as a global population have the power to significantly reduce the levels of hunger around the world. But in order to accomplish this, the people who have control of the aforementioned research and technology will need to share their data and combine forces to create direct solutions to this global problem.

This is precisely what the good people at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) are working toward. What the IFPRI has to offer is data–data on every country around the world, data about malnutrition, child mortality rates, ecology, rainfall, and much more. With the help of Web Portal Specialists like Soonho Kim, they are working on making that data open and easily accessible, but they are currently facing a number of challenges along the way. Soonho spoke to an intimate group of semantic technology experts at the recent Semantic Technology Conference, sharing the successes of the IFPRI thus far and the areas where they could use some help. Read more

Art Lovers Will See There’s More To Love With Linked Data

The team behind the data integration tool Karma this week presented at LODLAM (Linked Open Data in Libraries, Archives & Museums), illustrating how to map museum data to the Europeana Data Model (EDM) or CIDOC CRM (Conceptual Reference Model). This came on the heels of its earning the best-in-use paper award at ESWC2013 for its publication about connecting Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) data to the LOD cloud.

The work of Craig KnoblockPedro SzekelyJose Luis AmbiteShubham GuptaMaria MusleaMohsen Taheriyan, and Bo Wu at the Information Sciences InstituteUniversity of Southern California, Karma lets users integrate data from a variety of data sources (hierarchical and dynamic ones too) — databases, spreadsheets, delimited text files, XML, JSON, KML and Web APIs — by modeling it according to an ontology of their choice. A graphical user interface automates much of the process. Once the model is complete, users can publish the integrated data as RDF or store it in a database.

The Smithsonian project builds on the group’s work on Karma for mapping structured sources to RDF. For the Smithsonian project (whose announcement we covered here), Karma converted more than 40,000 of the museum’s holdings, stored in more than 100 tables in a SQL Server Database, to LOD, leveraging EDM, the metamodel used in the Europeana project to represent data from Europe’s cultural heritage institutions.

Read more

A Higher Calling of Semantic Technology: Linking Data to Save Lives

After days full of technically-focused sessions at SemTechBiz, Hans Constandt’s keynote this morning, ONTOFORCE: Links for Lives, was a thought-provoking break from technicality. Instead of delving into the specifics of how ONTOFORCE–the Belgian startup where Hans currently serves as CEO–is using various semantic tools, leveraging taxonomies, or monetizing their products, Hans instead stepped back and reminded us all of the much bigger picture: Linked open data can save lives.

Hans started his talk by sharing three stories from his own life of family members who have faced rare illnesses and struggled to find the health information they needed. Hans was able to help his family members find access to vital health information after a great deal of time, effort, and investment. But after helping those closest to him, he didn’t want to stop there. Each condition he researched was rare, but that meant that other people in the world facing similarly rare conditions were undoubtedly entrenched in the same struggle to obtain quality information.
Read more

Developing Gun Violence Analytics Through Linked Data

Mary O’Leary of the New Haven Register recently wrote, “As a state, Connecticut has plenty of data on firearm violence from medical and law enforcement sources. But it’s never had a central repository where it can be linked and made available for fundamental research on which to base policy. Ready with a solution to aggregate and integrate this information in a new program is the Institute for the Study of Violent Groups at the University of New Haven in conjunction with the Lee College Center for Analytics and a professor from Yale University’s Department of Emergency Medicine.” Read more

Linking Artificial Intelligence & Open Data

Alex Howard of O’Reilly Radar reports, “After years of steady growth, open data is now entering into public discourse, particularly in the public sector. If President Barack Obama decides to put the White House’s long-awaited new open data mandate before the nation this spring, it will finally enter the mainstream. As more governments, businesses, media organizations and institutions adopt open data initiatives, interest in the evidence behind  release and the outcomes from it is similarly increasing. High hopes abound in many sectors, from development to energy to health to safety to transportation. ‘Today, the digital revolution fueled by open data is starting to do for the modern world of agriculture what the industrial revolution did for agricultural productivity over the past century,’ said Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, speaking at the G-8 Open Data for Agriculture Conference.” Read more

The Disagreement Over Opening Up Research Data

Jean-Claude Bradley of Chemistry World recently wrote, “Almost a decade ago, the term ‘podcasting’ grabbed society’s imagination. Although sharing audio and video files over the internet had been possible for some time, the technology for creating, disseminating and following media reached a critical mass for the average internet user. Predictably, this situation represented different opportunities for different factions of the ideological spectrum. At one end, some saw new means to monetise their skill sets and products. At the other end, another group recognised a means for the radical sharing of knowledge. For the majority, the opportunities lay somewhere in the middle – for example, freely sharing some content with the hope of selling another portion, or freely sharing content but with restrictions on its use.” Read more

Obama’s New Investment in Brain Mapping: Will It Be Open Access?

Jonathan Gray of the OKF reports, “On Tuesday President Obama unveiled a new $100 million research initiative to map the human brain. The BRAIN (Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) initiative will ‘accelerate the development and application of new technologies that will enable researchers to produce dynamic pictures of the brain that show how individual brain cells and complex neural circuits interact at the speed of thought.’ As well as trying to vastly improve scientific understanding of ‘the three pounds of matter that sits between our ears’, it is hoped that this research will enable new forms of prevention and treatment for conditions like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, autism and epilepsy.” Read more