Bob DuCharme recently wrote, “The combination of microdata and schema.org seems to have hit a sweet spot that has helped both to get a lot of traction. I’ve been learning more about microdata recently, but even before I did, I found that the W3C’s Microdata to RDF Distiller written by Ivan Herman would convert microdata stored in web pages into RDF triples, making it possible to query this data with SPARQL. With major retailers such as Walmart and BestBuy making such data available on—as far as I can tell—every single product’s web page, this makes some interesting queries possible to compare prices and other information from the two vendors.” Read more
Posts Tagged ‘Walmart’
Late this summer, adaptive experience company Compare Metrics (see our earlier coverage here) rebranded itself as Edgecase, carrying forward its original vision of creating inspiring online shopping experiences. Edgecase is working on white-label implementations with retail clients such as Crate & Barrel, Wasserstrom, Urban Decay, Golfsmith, Kate Somerville Cosmetics, and Rebecca Minkoff to build a better discovery experience for their customers, generating user-friendly taxonomies from the data they already have but haven’t been able to leverage to maximum shopper advantage.
“No one had thought about reinvigorating navigation or the search experience for 15 years,” says Garrett Eastham, cofounder and CEO. “The interactions driving these conversation today were driven by database engineers a decade ago, but now we are at the point in the evolution of ecommerce to make the web experience evolve to what it is like in the physical world.”
Semantic technology can be part of the fun. Over the next couple of days we’ll look at some ways it can chip in. Let’s start with food as you start thinking about the summer BBQs. There are semantic solutions that can help on various fronts here. Edamam, for example, has built a food ontology that classifies ingredients, nutrients and food that it applies to recipes it scrapes from the web with the help of its natural language processing and machine learning functions.
As you’re breaking out the grill, you can break out the smartphone or iPad to search for grilled burger recipes that incorporate tomatoes in the 200 to 400 calorie range, for example, and take your pick of ranch salmon, Portobello mushroom, turkey with spiced tomato chutney or the classic beef with garden vegetables, for instance. “The nutrition information we append to recipes using natural language processing. This translates into people being able to filter recipes by diet/calories/allergies and be a bit more health-conscious this summer,” says Victor Penev, Edamam founder and CEO.
The story below features an interview with Kurt Cagle, Information Architect Avalon Consulting, LLC, who is speaking this week at the Semantic Technology And Business Conference in NYC. You can save $200 when you register for the event before October 2.
New York has a rich history in the film industry. The city was the capital of film production from 1895 to 1910. In fact, a quick trip from Manhattan to Queens will take you to the former home of the Kaufman Astoria Studios, now the site of the American Museum of the Moving Image. Even after the industry moved shop to Hollywood, New York continued to hold its own, as evidenced by this Wikipedia list of films shot in the city.
This week, at the Semantic Technology & Business Conference, a session entitled Semantics Goes Hollywood will offer a perspective on the technology’s applicability to the industry for both its East and West Coast practitioners (and anyone in between). For that matter, even people in industries of completely different stripes stand to gain value: As Kurt Cagle, Information Architect at Avalon Consulting, LLC, who works with many companies in the film space, explains, “A lot of what I see is not really a Hollywood-based problem at all – it’s a data integration problem.”
Here’s a spotlight on some of the points Cagle will discuss when he takes the stage:
- Just like any enterprise, studios that have acquired other film companies face the challenge of ensuring that their systems can understand the information that’s stored in the systems of the companies they bought. Semantic technology can come to the fore here as it has for industries that might not have the same aura of glamour surrounding them. “Our data models may not be completely in sync but you can represent both and communicate both into a single composite data system, and a language like SPARQL can query against both sets to provide information without having to do a huge amount of re-engineering,” Cagle says.
The opening keynotes at this week’s Semantic Technology and Business Conference saw two industry giants pump up the volume about how, and why, to apply semantic technology in the enterprise.
At Viacom, the largest pure-play media company in the world, the sheer number of perspectives across an exhaustive portfolio that includes more than 160 networks and 500 digital media properties globally, as well as entertainment behemoth Paramount Pictures Corp., was a factor in giving semantic tech a start. Its pain point, chief architect Matthew Degel told attendees, involved dealing with issues like the creative variations that come with the territory – U.S. vs. international versions of digital assets, or the MPEG-2 take on a clip for broadcast in this country vs. H.264/MPEG-4 formats for streaming the same clip online. “How do you track all this and say that I have 23 files, they are all sort of different but they’re talking about the same thing,” Degel said. “We thought semantics could help address that.”
Multi-platform being the rule of the day, the company faced the challenge of making its material reuseable, findable, searchable and purposeable, Degel said. As it takes steps to its goal of providing a corporate-focused, general purpose application of the technology, Degel explained that the view he takes on semantic technology is to think of it as “helping you deal with a certain amount of uncertainty and chaos.”
There will be a lot of Big Data talk at the upcoming SemTechBiz event in San Francisco.
The opening keynote, for example, will be given by Abhishek Gattani, senior director at Walmart in the WalmartLabs. In a conversation in advance of the event, Gattani told The Semantic Web Blog that he’ll be focusing on the idea that businesses should embrace the mindset of using external data – social and web data – to solve internal problems. “This is what happens when you run an enterprise – external factors influence your market,” he says, whether that’s a new product being launched or a lower-priced competitor coming into play or a natural disaster or economic event taking place. The data about those things exist outside your own company’s realm, but combining your information with that could lead to interesting prospects and extraordinary results.
Walmart is looking for a Big Data Engineer in San Bruno, CA. The post states, “Do you like big data? Like really big data? Like multi-terabyte data sets with billions of rows? Do you like the idea of pulling, pushing, slicing and dicing this data in real-time using using Hadoop, Hbase, Hive and more? Now let’s add some intelligence to the mix using machine learning, data mining and predictive analytics and shazam – you have the underpinnings of @WalmartLabs.” Read more
With Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Small Business Saturday behind us, and Cyber-Monday right in front of us, it is clear the holiday season is in full force. Apparently, retailers – both online and real-world – are doing pretty well as a group when it comes to sales racked up.
Reports have it that e-commerce topped the $1 billion mark for Black Friday in the U.S. for the first time this year, with Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Target and Apple taking honors as the most visited online stores, according to ComScore. Consumers spent $11.2 billion at stores across the U.S. on Black Friday, said ShopperTrak, down from last year but probably impacted by more people heading out to more stores for deals that began on Thursday night. The National Retail Federation put total spending over the four-day weekend at a record $59.1 billion, up 13 percent from $52.4 billion last year.
Not surprisingly, semantic technology wants in on the shopping action. Social intelligence vendor NetBase, for instance, just launched a new online tool that analyzes the web for mentions of the 10 top retailers to show the mood of shoppers flocking to those sources. The Mood Meter, which media outlets and others can embed in their sites, ranks the 10 brands based on sentiment unearthed with the help of its natural language processing technology. Read more
Ryan Kim of GigaOM reports that Walmart has built its own search engine called Polaris. He writes, “Walmart is deploying a new internally-built search engine to power Walmart.com and ultimately increase sales conversions from searches. The Polaris search engine, developed by @WalmartLabs over the last 10 months, has been in use for the last few months onWalmart.com and has already boosted conversions to sales by 10-15 percent, the company said.” Read more
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