Posts Tagged ‘Zepheira’

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.

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Case Study Radio, Ep. 1: Business Value of Linked Data - Case Study Radio today is launching a new podcast series, “Case Study Radio,” that focuses on stories of applications of Semantic Technologies. Our first episode, sponsored by Zepheira, features a conversation with Dr. Eric Miller.

During our 14 minute discussion, we briefly talk about “What is Linked Data,” and then quickly move on to discuss the nature of Linked Data and the general business value to organizations that have taken Linked Data approaches. Dr. Miller mentions several high-profile, successful implementations, and in future episodes, we will take a deeper look at similar case studies.

Listen to the Podcast

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The Future of Libraries, Linked Data and Schema.Org Extensions

Image Courtesy Flickr/ Paul Lowry


Yesterday The Semantic Link Podcast featured Karen Coyle, a consultant in library technology who’s consulted for esteemed institutions including the Library of Congress. Coyle discussed libraries’ long history with metadata, including with the MARC (machine-readable cataloging) format for nearly 50 years, and of sharing that metadata. That history helps explain why libraries, she said, are looking at semantic web technology – but also why changes to established processes are huge undertakings. “The move toward Linked Data will be the most significant change in library data in these two centuries,” she said, requiring the move from mainly textual data into using identifiers for things and data instead of strings.

Today, The Semantic Web Blog continues the discussion by sharing some perspectives on the topic from OCLC technology evangelist Richard Wallis. As noted in yesterday’s podcast, change has its challenges. “Getting the library community to get its head around Linked Data as a replacement for MARC … will be a bit of a challenge,” Wallis says. While more members of the library community are starting to “get” Linked Data, and what can be accomplished by extracting entities and linking between them, some still struggle with why change can’t just occur within the MARC format itself or its successor Resource Description and Access (RDA), that provides atomistic, machine-actionable data and machine-interpretable relationships. RDA, Wallis reminds us, took a decade from inception to publication and business model.

“The ramifications of turning into the Linked Data world are quite deep and meaningful but it will be a few years for that to be established in the library world,” Wallis says.

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OCLC Announcement: Meets (and hints of more to come)

image of library from Shutterstock.comOCLC has announced that pages now include descriptive mark-up.

Created over the last four decades with the participation of thousands of member libraries, WorldCat is the world’s largest online registry of library collections. As the official press release states, “ now offers the largest set of linked bibliographic data on the Web. With the addition of mark-up to all book, journal and other bibliographic resources in, the entire publicly available version of WorldCat is now available for use by intelligent Web crawlers, like Google and Bing, that can make use of this metadata in search indexes and other applications.”

On the heels of the announcement earlier this week about Dewey Decimal Classifications also being available as Linked Data, this certainly marks an exciting week in the world of library information and the Semantic Web. However, this should also prove to be exciting for non-librarians, as these resources are now available beyond the world of library sciences.

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The Art of Linked Data: Architecting Recollection

Uche OgbujiIn this column “The art of Linked Data” a few of us at Zepheira will try to bring observations, reflections and practical advice from various projects applying Linked Data and thus Semantic Web principles across diverse domains.  At Zepheira we help organizations implement sophisticated Web solutions with a specialty in combining the reasoning power of people with the mechanical processing of computers.

Imagine a situation where a scientific researcher is trying to organize a variety of material for a project or paper; that material might be coming from various sources, in various formats, and with shifting context throughout. There might be related research papers (citations and references), contact information for peer researchers, information about organizations who have sponsored the research with grants or research budget, the actual scientific data collected during the research, and more.

At Zepheira we recognize that there are things that computing can achieve to make the researcher’s job much more efficient, including analysis and conversion of underlying formats, basic indexing, and cataloging. We also recognize that once you’ve done these basic things, the limitations of computing become very apparent. You can guess that a particular phrase is a place name, or that another is a title of a related paper, but in our experience such guessing leads to very uneven results. The Linked Data community has taken entity extraction and the like to very sophisticated levels, but real value comes from being able to present the framework of guesses to the researcher so he or she can create annotations in a friendly user interface. With such annotations in place we can link data and apply data services with full confidence.

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Exhibit 3.0 Part 1 – An Open Source Software Platform for Publishing Linked Data

This is Part I of a two-part series. Part II will be published later this month.

Individuals, communities and organizations increasingly require the ability to combine fragmented data sources into easily searched and navigated wholes.  From combining family playlists to merging scientific databases and spreadsheets, the need for integrating data and metadata from multiple sources into a single, Web-based publishing framework is increasing.  Allowing users to publish, explore and visualize data in useful ways is a powerful mechanism for identifying, organizing and sharing patterns inherent in this data.  Web data publishing demands easier data integration and customizable ways to interact with the data such as faceted browsing, spatial or temporal-based visualizations, tag clouds, and full-text search.

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#SemTechBiz Keynote: Semantic Technology at The Library of Congress

Laura Campbell, CIO, Library of CongressLaura Campbell, CIO of the Library of Congress, spoke at the recent SemTech Conference about how the world’s largest library leverages semantic technology to help manage the vast resources of the LoC.

The Library of Congress is “more than just a library,” said Campbell, pointing out that the LoC has “the Congressional Research Service, the Copyright Office of the U.S., and the Law Library in addition to the National Collection.” With over 146 Million items in 470 languages, represented in both analog and digital content, and with newly gathered material regularly being added from around the world, there is undeniably a lot of content to manage.

In her keynote address, Ms. Campbell spoke about how the Library of Congress is leveraging linked data technologies in three key areas:

  1. Managing existing collections
  2. Maintaining the LoC’s role as a leader in the distribution of canonical information
  3. Fulfilling the mission to collect, preserve, and provide access to a more digital collection

The keynote in its entirety, is presented below.


To read more about one specific linked data initiative at the Library of Congress, check out this recent series about the Recollections Project.

For more great keynotes, case studies, and insight into how Semantic Web can make a difference in business, consider attending SemTechBiz UK, SemTechBiz DC, or the Semantic Media Summit in NYC.

Recollection: Serving Local Preservation Partner Needs through a National Linked Data Platform: Part 2

If you missed Part 1, read it here.

The Library of Congress’ National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program works to catalyze and sustain a national network of digital preservation partners. From the beginning of the project one of the key ideas has been that the partnership, now with 185 partner organizations across 45 states, needed to work toward a distributed architecture. To that end, NDIIPP has worked with its’ partners to connect different platforms for storage and verification, data and metadata management, and access and discovery of preserved digital materials.

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Recollection: A Linked Data Platform of Digital Collections: Part 1

Language of the BirdsA Daunting Task

What if you were given a large new initiative to lead? Your resources are a team of 180 different groups distributed across the country. They work for different organizations, each with their own set of priorities and goals. Each group does things just a little differently to accomplish the task at hand. They use different work processes, different software and produce their work in a variety of data formats.

What if you needed to pull the work of all of these groups together and present it in a cohesive manner? Sound familiar? This is a task that presents itself to organizations on a frequent basis as workforces and partnerships expand globally and the amount of digital information to be managed grows exponentially.

Now add another factor into this picture…imagine that the preservation of our nation’s digital history was riding on your success. This is the situation the Library of Congress faced in 2008.

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Zepheira Announces Freemix New Social Networking Site for Data Sharing

Semantic Web Technology Platform Enables Data Collaboration via the Web

San Jose, CA – June 16, 2009 – Zepheira™, a leading global provider of semantic web technology services for accelerating the integration and understanding of complex information, today announced the availability of Freemix™ [] for invitational beta. Freemix is a new and innovative platform that allows users to slice, show and share data via the Web. The announcement was made at the Semantic Technology 2009 Conference [], the industry’s largest conference on semantic technologies.

Freemix [] is a free social networking site for wrapping, exposing and sharing data. The invitational beta of Freemix allows you to rapidly upload data, visualize and share it on the Web, providing quantum leaps in speed, efficiencies and cost reduction in comparison to traditional data management strategies. Over the past year, there has been increasing attention to the critical need for easy ways to quickly wrap and expose both local content and an increasing amount of open data. The ability to rapidly add, visualize and share data is driving the next generation of successful organizations delivering products and services online.

Freemix is a platform to assist people in sharing information which is the foundation of online communities. Provided on demand, as a software-as-a-service offering, Freemix provides easy access to a suite of Web 3.0 tools and a highly-customizable user interface for improved visualization and analysis.

David Wood [], Partner and co-founder of Zepheira [], stated “this new service lowers the barriers for sharing data on the Web and will enable the widespread use of semantic web technologies. With Freemix, you can now you can point at data, perform powerful transformations, create metadata and in minutes create a compelling Web-based user interface.” An entrepreneur and multidisciplinary engineer, Dr. Wood has been involved with the development of Semantic Web standards, tools, products and services since 1999.