Posts tagged ‘RDF’

Semantic appsGreat Contributions from Leaders of Companies Using RDF and URIs

May 15th, 2009 by Greg Boutin

Check out the comment section of the part 3 of my blog post series. Very interesting contributions by Sean Martin of Cambridge Semantics and Bill Roberts of Swirrl.

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Tying Web 3.0, the Semantic Web and Linked Data Together – Part 3/3: Structuring Chaos

May 13th, 2009 by Greg Boutin

In my previous post, I argued that two things can help bring to life a truly semantic web: the first one is the Linked Data medium. One person commented that Linked Data is not just a medium, but creates meaning. I see the point, if you assert that meaning is created through data transformation, as one can process RDF triples (the Linked Data format) through SPARQL (the query language, like SQL for databases) and also create new associations of triples linked through common URIs (universal concept addresses – I described them in the previous post, and you can double-click on the word for a definition). Depending on how you define meaning, you could characterize that as meaning-creating. Or not.

Let me specify my thoughts further. As I see it, the biggest hurdle in enabling the semantic web right now is in creating “clean” triples, and the right links to the right URIs, from unstructured data. That type of data transformation from unstructured to structured really is where 80% of the meaning (to pick a number that sounds right – let me bet that too will get me interesting tweets) is added. That’s why, in most cases, it’s still best done by humans. Because it’s tough. And it’s tough because it adds lots of value to the original data. (more…)


Tying Web 3.0, the Semantic Web and Linked Data Together – Part 2/3: Linked Data is a Medium

May 11th, 2009 by Greg Boutin

If you’ve liked my last post, you should take a look at Kevin Kelly’s video at TED, about the first and the next 5,000 days of the Web, which a friend pointed out to me. “Smarter” is Kevin’s first tag to describe the next web, and given the timescale he chooses, it is a safe bet. In the short term, ubiquitous (Kevin’s second or third tag) is probably more likely to describe the Web.

Below, I am pursuing my exploration of the interaction between Web 3.0, the Semantic Web and Linked Data. I shared my thoughts on Web 3.0 in the previous post, so now let’s tackle the Semantic Web, and what it will take for it to really happen.

Semantic Web

What is the semantic web? Here again I’ll refer to a post I wrote not too long ago, in which I wrote this is “a web in which machines get the meaning of information and use that understanding to transform/organize/synthesize data intelligently on our behalf.” Definition varies, but overall I think we all agree that the Semantic Web is an attempt at enabling machines to better understand and transform data. This is the overarching Objective, with a big O, of the semantic web.

In a world with a working Semantic Web, I should not only be able to know without launching a full web expedition, which Chinese restaurant in a 5-mile/km radius carries Peking Duck, but also to aggregate and filter information from various subprime real estate lenders by region and map that against mortgage default rates and lenders’ pools of debt by risk level in a snap. That type of easy data transformation could help avoid a financial crisis of gigantic proportions, which, some would argue, is a handy benefit worth its weight in trillions of dollars. (more…)


Tying Web 3.0, the Semantic Web and Linked Data Together — Part 1/3: Web 3.0 Will Not Solve Information Overload

May 7th, 2009 by Greg Boutin

Over the past few weeks I have tried to dig deeper into the different concepts of semantic web, linked data, and web 3.0, to develop a better understanding of whether it matters, why, and what it all means from a web user angle. That led me to review recent articles in Nodalities magazine, attend discussions on Taxonomies, and talk to new startups. The Web 3.0 and Semantic Conferences are coming up and I thought that would also help me not to look too idiotic at the “Idiots’ Guide to the Semantic Web and Web 3.0″ panel I’ll be participating in………

One of the focuses of my quest was to try and assess whether, as Tim Berners-Lee put it over a year ago in an interview by Paul Miller, the Semantic Web is “open for business”. Another related goal was to try and compare the cost and benefits of Linked Data, an important component of the Semantic Web as most would agree (where people differ is whether it is a requisite or not). I’ll tackle that across this series of posts. (more…)


Does a Semantic App Need a Semantic Platform? Twine Developer Comments (and Why Can’t They Address the Twine Digests Information Overload?)

October 28th, 2008 by Greg Boutin

Interesting comment by Jim of the Twine team, posted yesterday on Twine, feeding into the ongoing discussion on RDF‘s viability, and addressing questions I asked in previous posts, i.e. why did Twine move away from a direct implementation of the RDF stack. My other question, how many triples does Twine create per day/week/month, still remains unaddressed, but I imagine that’s not “open data” :)

And now I have one more: why can’t my Twine digest just show me one instance of every article I tagged, with a list of all the Twines I shared it with, instead of reproducing it under each Twine section! This is such a pain point…  I’ve signaled it (recently) to Nova, who thanked me for it but seems to think that the loss of information would be too much. I don’t quite get that. Yet another illustration of how techies think differently and how that can impair the full capture of a company’s potential and *must* be tempered by a strong marketing pole. I’d love to see a user survey on this issue… For an app that aims to address information overload, I think this should have been addressed months ago…

I’ve reproduced the platform comments below: (more…)

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