Posts Tagged ‘World Wide Web Consortium’
This 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.
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.
Ivan Herman Discusses Lead Role At W3C Digital Publishing Activity — And Where The Semantic Web Can Fit In Its Work
There’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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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:
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
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.
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