Posts Tagged ‘World Wide Web Consortium’

You Can Help Make Linked Data Core To The Future of Identity, Payment On The Web Platform

ld1At the end of September, The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) may approve the world’s first Web Payments Steering Group, to explore issues such as navigating around obstacles to seamless payments on the web and ways to better facilitate global transactions while respecting local laws. Identity and digital signatures have a role here, at the same time as they go beyond the realm of payment into privacy and other arenas. At the end of October, there also will be a W3C technical plenary, to discuss identity, graph normalization, digital signatures and payments technologies.

Expect Linked Data to come up in the context of both events, Manu Sporny told attendees at this August’s 10th annual Semantic Technology & Business conference in San Jose during his keynote address, entitled Building Linked Data Into the Core of the Web. “It is the foundational data model to build all this technology off of,” said Sporny, who is the founder and CEO of Digital Bazaar, which develops technology and services to make it easier to buy and sell digital content over the Internet. (See our stories about the company and its technology here.)  He also is founder and chair of the W3C Web Payments Community Group, chair of its RDFa Working Group, and founder, and chair and lead editor of the JSON-LD Community Group.

Read more

Schema.org Takes Action

actionstatusThis week saw schema.org introduce vocabulary that enables websites to describe the actions they enable and how these actions can be invoked, in the hope that these additions will help unleash new categories of applications, according to a new post by Dan Brickley.

This represents an expansion of the vocabulary’s focus point from describing entities to taking action on these entities. The work has been in progress, Brickley explains here, for the last couple of years, building on the http://schema.org/Action types added last August by providing a way of describing the capability to perform actions in the future.

The three action status type now includes PotentialActionStatus for a description of an action that is supported, ActiveActionStatus for an in-progress action, and CompletedActionStatus, for an action that has already taken place.

 Read more

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

Ivan Herman Discusses Lead Role At W3C Digital Publishing Activity — And Where The Semantic Web Can Fit In Its Work

rsz_w3clogoThere’s a (fairly) new World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) activity, the Digital Publishing Activity, and it’s headed up by Ivan Herman, formerly the Semantic Web Activity Lead there. That activity was subsumed in December by the W3c Data Activity, with Phil Archer taking the role as Lead (see our story here).

Begun last summer, the Digital Publishing Activity has, as Herman describes it, “millions of aspects, some that have nothing to do with the semantic web.” But some, happily, that do – and that are extremely important to the publishing community, as well.

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

A Look Into Learning SPARQL With Author Bob DuCharme

Cover of Learning SPARQL - Second Edition, by Bob DuCharmeThe second edition of Bob DuCharme’s Learning SPARQL debuted this summer. The Semantic Web Blog connected with DuCharme – who is director of digital media solutions at TopQuadrant, the author of other works including XML: The Annotated Specification, and also a welcome speaker both at the Semantic Technology & Business Conference and our Semantic Web Blog podcasts – to learn more about the latest version of the book.

Semantic Web Blog: In what I believe has been two years since the first edition was published, what have been the most significant changes in the ‘SPARQL space’ – or the semantic web world at large — that make this the right time for an expanded edition of Learning SPARQL?

DuCharme: The key thing is that SPARQL 1.1 is now an actual W3C Recommendation. It was great to see it so widely implemented so early in its development process, which justified the release of the book’s first edition so long before 1.1 was set in stone, but now that it’s a Recommendation we can release an edition of the book that is no longer describing a moving target. Not much in SPARQL has changed since the first edition – the VALUES keyword replaced BINDINGS, with some tweaks, and some property path syntax details changed – but it’s good to know that nothing in 1.1 can change now.

Read more

A Closer Look At SemTechBiz Startup Competition Winner: KnowMED And Its Clinical Discovery Platform

KnowMED walked away the big winner of the Semantic Start-Up Competition. The Semantic Web Blog caught up with CTO Matthew Vagnoni, MS, and CEO Jerry D. Scott to further discuss the company’s winning entry, the Clinical Discovery Platform, for helping the health care sector semantically integrate data and ask natural language questions of that data, to support clinical research and complex decision-making.

The problem that the health care industry at large faces of not being able to easily and efficiently integrate and share data across organizations’ borders is equally a challenge right within the institutions themselves. “Large modern health care organizations are somewhat insular,” says Vagnoni.

At Medical City Children’s Hospital in Dallas, as an example, there are three separate electronic health record systems just for its neonatal division. The diverse formats and vocabularies made it difficult to try to ask questions of this data for research or efficiency purposes. But within two months of deploying KnowMED’s Clinical Discovery Platform, Vagnoni says, most of the data was integrated into a single view, “so clinicians could interact with it almost like using Google. …We combined the data from all the different sources so that clinicians could go in and ask questions [that reflect] how they think, not how [the information] is in the data schema.”

Read more

Gmail, Meet JSON-LD

Another announcement by Google this week – one that didn’t get quite as much play as the launch at I/O of Google Play Music All Access and improvements to its search, map and Google + services – was this: Support for JSON-LD markup in Gmail.

The W3C in April published a Last Call Working Draft for JSON-LD 1.0 (JavaScript Object Notation for Linking Data), a lightweight Linked Data format to give data context. It has been shepherded along for some time by the JSON for Linked Data Community Group.

Manu Sporny, who has been instrumental in JSON-LD’s development and is one of the authors of the draft, heralds the news here in his blog, noting that it means that Gmail now will be able to recognize people, places, events and a variety of other Linked Data objects, and that actions may be taken on the Linked Data objects embedded in an e-mail. “For example, if someone sends you an invitation to a party, you can do a single-click response on whether or not you’ll attend a party right from your inbox. Doing so will also create a reminder for the party in your calendar,” he writes.

The news was greeted with enthusiasm on a W3C JSON LD message round, as, as Sporny describes it, “pretty big validation of the technology.”

While noting that Google followed the standard closely, Sporny does point out some issues with the implementation – including a major one that Google isn’t using the JSON-LD @context parameter correctly in its markup examples:

Read more

SemTechBiz Puts Spotlight On Financial Industry Business Ontology

Image Courtesy: Flickr/Patrick Hoesly

The financial services industry is taking to semantic tech in an important way, and that’s in the form of the Financial Industry Business Ontology (FIBO), which aims to standardize the language used to precisely define the terms, conditions, and characteristics of financial instruments; the legal and relationship structure of business entities; the content and time dimensions of market data; and the legal obligations and process aspects of corporate actions. Attendees at SemTech Biz in San Francisco will get a deep dive on the how’s and why’s, at this session, while the FIBO Technology Summit invitation event will present an opportunity for working collaboratively to continue advancing the effort that has its roots in The Enterprise Data Management Council and communities of interests.

Leading that event will be Dennis E. Wisnosky, founder of Wizdom Systems, Inc. and former CTO and Chief Architect of the DoD Business Mission Area, who was recently named to provide technical strategy and operational guidance to help the Council finalize and implement FIBO standards, and David S. Newman, SVP & Strategic Planning Manager Enterprise Architecture at Wells Fargo, and Chair of the EDM Council’s Semantics Program. (Newman, with Enterprise Data Management Council Head of Semantics and Standards Mike Bennett, will also host the SemTech FIBO session.)  Speaking of the upcoming event, Wisnosky explains that a goal is to cast a wide net to find the new tech ideas and developments that both can bring benefits to FIBO in the short term and influence the longer-term research agenda to help the financial industry.

As FIBO stands now, in June the second draft of the FIBO Foundations ontology and the conceptual FIBO Business Entities ontology will be presented at a meeting of the Object Management Group in Berlin. By year’s end it is expected that the OMG will have ratified these as formal standards. “We are on the path to turn the corner from thinking of what FIBO will be to delivering it,” says Wisnosky. Read more

Semantic Web Gets Closer To The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things is coming, but it needs a semantic backbone to flourish. With some 25 billion devices expected to be connected to the Internet by 2015 and 50 billion by 2020, providing interoperability among the things on the IoT “is one of the most fundamental requirements to support object addressing, tracking, and discovery as well as information representation, storage, and exchange.” So write the authors of Semantics for the Internet of Things: Early Progress and Back to the Future, Payam Barnaghi and Wei Wang, Centre for Communication Systems Research, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK and Cory Henson, Kno.e.sis – Ohio Center of Excellence in Knowledge-enabled Computing.
“The suite of technologies developed in the Semantic Web … such as ontologies, semantic annotation, Linked Data and semantic Web services … can be used as principal solutions for the purpose of realizing the IoT,” they state. “Defining an ontology and using semantic descriptions for data will make it interoperable for users and stakeholders that share and use the same ontology.”

Applying semantic technologies to IoT, however, has several research challenges, the authors note, pointing out that IoT and using semantics in IoT is still in its early days. Being in on the ground floor of this movement is undeniably exciting to the research community, including people such as Konstantinos Kotis, Senior Research Scientist at University of the Aegean, and IT Manager in the regional division of the Samos and Ikaria islands at North Aegean Regional Administration Authority.

Read more

NEXT PAGE >>