Posts Tagged ‘URI’

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

The Supply Chain Is One Big Graph In Start-up Elementum’s Platform

rsz_elementum_transport_appStartup Elementum wants to take supply chains into the 21st century. Incubated at Flextronics, the second largest contract manufacturer in the world, and launching today with $44 million in Series B funding from that company and Lightspeed Ventures, its approach is to get supply chain participants – the OEMs that generate product ideas and designs, the contract manufacturers who build to those specs, the component makers who supply the ingredients to make the product, the various logistics hubs to move finished product to market, and the retail customer – to drop the one-off relational database integrations and instead see the supply chain fundamentally as a complex graph or web of connections.

“It’s no different thematically from how Facebook thinks of its social network or how LinkedIn thinks of what it calls the economic graph,” says Tyler Ziemann, head of growth at Elementum. Built on Amazon Web Services, Elementum’s “mobile-first” apps for real-time visibility, shipment tracking and carrier management, risk monitoring and mitigation, and order collaboration have a back-end built to consume and make sense of both structured and unstructured data on-the-fly, based on a real-time Java, MongoDB NoSQL document database to scale in a simple and less expensive way across a global supply chain that fundamentally involves many trillions of records, and flexible schema graph database to store and map the nodes and edges of the supply chain graph.

“Relational database systems can’t scale to support the types of data volumes we need and the flexibility that is required for modeling the supply chain as a graph,” Ziemann says.

Read more

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.”

Read more

EventMedia Live, Winner of ISWC Semantic Web Challenge, Starts New Project With Nokia Maps, Extends Architecture Flexibility

The winner of the Semantic Web Challenge at November’s International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC) was EventMedia Live, a web-based environment that exploits real-time connections to event and media sources to deliver rich content describing events that are associated with media, and interlinked with the Linked Data cloud.

This week, it will begin a one-year effort under a European Commission-funded project to align its work with the Nokia Maps database of places, so that mobile users of the app can quickly get pictures of these venues that were taken by users with EventMedia’s help.

A project of EURECOM, a consortium combining seven European universities and nine international industrial partners, EventMedia Live has its origins in the “mismatch between those sites specializing in announcing upcoming events and those other sites where users share photos, videos and document those events,” explains Raphaël Troncy, assistant professor at the EURECOM: School of Engineering & Research CenterMultimedia Communications, and one of the project’s leaders.

Read more

DERI and Fujitsu Team On Research Program

The Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) is kicking off a project with Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. in Japan to build a large-scale RDF store in the cloud capable of processing hundreds of billions of triples. The idea, says DERI research fellow Dr. Michael Hausenblas, “is to build up a platform that allows you to process and convert any kind of data” — from relational databases to LDAP record-based, directory-like data, but also streaming sources of data, such as sensors and even the Twitter firehose.

The project has defined eight different potential enterprise use cases for such a platform, ranging from knowledge-sharing in health care and life science to dashboards in financial services informed by XBRL data. “Once the platform is there we will implement at least a couple of these use cases on business requirements, and essentially we are going to see which are the most promising for business units,” Hausenblas says.

Read more

Semantic Models for CDISC

Kerstin Forsberg has written an article discussing a presentation she and Frederik Malfait gave regarding the use of semantic models for CDISC-based standard and metadata management, pointing to case studies at AstraZeneca and Roche. She writes, “In AstraZeneca we have a new program called Integrative Informatics (i2) establishing the components required to let a linked data cloud grow across R&D. A key component is the URI policy for how to make for example a Clinical Study linkable by giving it a URI, that is a Uniform Resource Identifier, e.g. http://research.data.astrazeneca.com/id/clinicalstudy/D5890C00003. Read more

A Fundamental Linked Data Debate

linkeddata_blue There is a fierce debate going on in the world of the Semantic Web and Linked Data, the question being is it of fundamental importance to realising the benefits of the technology or are they just dancing on the head of a pin.    The core debate revolves around something with the stunningly opaque title of the httpRange-14 issue.

The debate has been rumbling on for years but was reignited over the last few days by proposals being submitted to the W3C to clarify and hopefully simplify things.  I use the word ignited as that what I was beginning to think my iPhone was about to do – it has been buzzing away like a bumblebee on speed over the last few days announcing the arrival of yet another passionately held opinion from a member of the respected Semantic Web/Linked Data community from Sir Tim Berners-Lee downwards.    Fortunately for those of you that do not follow the W3C’s Technical Architecture (TAG) and Linked Open Data (public-lod) mailing lists it may have gone unnoticed.

Let me try to explain, in as simple terms as possible, what the fuss is all about and why it may be important.  From my point of view, and there are many surrounding this, the issue is a combination of two problems.

Read more

Defining Meaning on the Semantic Web

Mike Bergman recently asked the deceptively simple question, what do things mean on the semantic web? He explains, “The crowning achievement of the semantic Web is the simple use of URIs to identify data. Further, if the URI identifier can resolve to a representation of that data, it now becomes an integral part of the HTTP access protocol of the Web while providing a unique identifier for the data. These innovations provide the basis for distributed data at global scale, all accessible via Web devices such as browsers and smartphones that are now a ubiquitous part of our daily lives.” Read more

Lessons Learned On the Road To Linked Data

What’s the path from an XML based e-government metadata application to a linked data version? At the upcoming Semantic Tech & Business Conference in Berlin, the road taken by the Dutch government will be described by Paul Hermans, lead architect of Belgian project Erfgoedplus.be, which uses RDF/XML, OWL and SKOS to describe relationships to heritage types, concepts, objects, people, place and time.

Some 1,000 individual organizations compose the Dutch government, each with their own websites. An effort to employ a search engine a few years ago to spider those different and separate web sites to have one single point of access didn’t work as anticipated. The next step to bring some order was to assign all the documents published on those sites a common kernel of metadata fields, which led to building an XML application to enable a structured approach. Linked Data entered the picture about a year and a half ago.

Read more

The Power Is In The Link

Courtesy: Flickr/ RambergMediaImages

Attendees at the fast-approaching Semantic Tech & Business Conference in Berlin will find one of the opening conference sessions, The Simple Power of the Link, to provide a good introduction to the value proposition of Linked Data.

Presenter Richard J. Wallis is happy to be on the docket early, so that those in the audience who aren’t coming from a died-in-the-wool semantic web background will get a sense of the big-picture benefits to be realized, and incented enough to explore the possibilities that they won’t be scared off by the more technical discussions later in the program. “Later on, when presenters start talking about graph models and SPARQL endpoint performance, hopefully they can harken back to the simple basic benefits I’ll be discussing,” says Wallis, who will be conducting the session as an independent associate on behalf of Kasabi, the Linked Data marketplace from Talis Systems Ltd. Wallis, currently Kasabi technology evangelist, is launching his own semantic web consultancy this month.

Read more

NEXT PAGE >>