Max Smolaks of Tech Week Europe reports, “The Open Data Institute (ODI), the UK non-profit organisation co-founded by Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Sir Nigel Shadbolt to make better use of the huge amounts of information collected by the public sector, has signed up another five organisations to serve as its international ‘Nodes’. The Tech City-based ODI was established in December 2012 as the culmination of plans to transform access to government data and has since expanded to a number of different countries. The new nodes are located in Osaka, Seoul, Sheffield, Philadelphia and Hawaii, marking the first time the ODI has expanded to Asia.” Read more
Posts Tagged ‘Sir Tim Berners-Lee’
Jemima Kiss of The Guardian recently wrote, “It is nearly 25 years since Sir Tim Berners-Lee wrote his initial proposal for a distributed information system based on hypertext, in March 1989. ‘Vague, but exciting,’ was how supervisor Mike Sendall greeted the idea, proposed to help connect the work of several thousand atom-smashing scientists, researchers and administrators at Cern – the European home of nuclear research and the large hadron collider. The plan was a non-linear organisation system based on hypertext –quite the hot topic in late 80s computing circles – that would improve on the previous system that let documents be stored and printed. ‘A linked system,’ wrote Berners-Lee, ‘would allow one to browse through concepts, documents, systems and authors, also allowing references between documents to be stored’.” Read more
The 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Wide Web Consortium has headline news today: The Semantic Web, as well as eGovernment, Activities are being merged and superseded by the Data Activity, where Phil Archer serves as Lead.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.”
Tuesday 29th October 2013 — The SKOR Codex, an artwork designed as a lasting symbol of the preservation of cultural data in a non-digital format was presented to Sir Tim Berners-Lee, President and Co-Founder of the Open Data Institute (ODI) at the ODI Summit in London today by Dutch artists, La Société Anonyme.
The SKOR Codex is one of only eight books in existence designed to last 1000 years. They have been created by La Société Anonyme to help inform future generations about the diversity of European cultural life in years to come, when today’s computer systems are beyond recognition. Read more
Free Speech Channel on YouTube has posted a new video interview with Sir Tim Berners-Lee conducted by Timothy Garton Ash. In the interview Berners-Lee discusses “stretch friends,” open data, and the semantic web. According to the video description, “It is inappropriate to describe access to the internet as a human right, says Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web (45secs). However, he notes that the language of rights is often evoked for a worthy cause: to help bridge the gap between those that have access to the internet and those that do not. According to Berners-Lee, the dual threats of government filtering and spying vary on a country-by-country basis (11mins 50secs). ‘The most worrying thing of all is that you’ll end up with the two working together,’ he says. He adds that if governments empower internet service providers to collect data on users, the repository of information on individual’s web browsing activities could be ‘dynamite’.” Read more
Steve Hamby proclaims that 2012 is the year of the Semantic Web. He starts by quoting Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s vision of the semantic web back in 1996: “If the interaction between person and hypertext could be so intuitive that the machine-readable information space gave an accurate representation of the state of people’s thoughts, interactions, and work patterns, then machine analysis could become a very powerful management tool, seeing patterns in our work and facilitating our working together through the typical problems which beset the management of large organizations.” Read more
Todd Watson has commented on Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s recent appearance at Lotusphere 2012. Watson writes, “How ironic that Sir Berners-Lee was speaking to the Lotusphere faithful about the open, Semantic Web on a day when so many are protesting the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA, as it’s come to be known) as a means towards protecting intellectual property online… As for Berners-Lee’s message, it was both history lesson and reminder that’s what past is prologue. After Vinton Cerf invented TCP/IP to create the ‘internetwork’ of all those computers, it was Berners-Lee who figured out a way to link all those computers in a more user-friendly way (through the HTTP protocol via the WWW).” Read more
Today, Experian, the global information services company, announced that it has acquired Garlik Limited, a provider of web monitoring services based in the United Kingdom. Garlik uses Semantic Web Technologies to help consumers protect themselves from the risks of identity theft and financial fraud. At the last SemTechBiz UK Conference, Steve Harris, CTO of Garlik, presented “Combatting Online Crime with RDF.” Mr. Harris presented a compelling case of Garlik’s use of Semantic Technology throughout its offerings to support business-critical, highly sensitive production systems to financial institutions worldwide. Read more
A new article on the future of the social web begins with a quote from Sir Tim Berners-Lee: “It’s not the Social Network Sites that are interesting – it is the Social Network itself. The Social Graph. The way I am connected, not the way my Web pages are connected. We can use the word Graph, now, to distinguish from Web. I called this graph the Semantic Web, but maybe it should have been Giant Global Graph!” [this quote originally appeared here]. Read more
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