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request for info on Semantic Web business applications

From: Frank Manola <fmanola@acm.org>
Date: Tue, 01 Mar 2005 09:41:08 -0500
Message-ID: <42247F04.9080000@acm.org>
To: semantic-web@w3.org

The question "are there any real business applications of Semantic Web 
technology?" comes up all the time.  It's come up before on this list, 
and came up again at the Semantic Web Interest Group meeting now going 
on in Boston. I've (been?) volunteered to gather information on that 
subject, so I'm soliciting input from the list.  I'll try to organize 
this information and post either it or a suitable URL to the list. 
Please reply to the list, rather than just to me, so everyone can see 
the answers, and participate in the discussion.  The information I'm 
looking for falls in one or more of the following categories:

a.  Actual instances of (what you think are) existing business 
applications of Semantic Web technology (and pointers to more 
information, if it's available).  The general outline of what I'm 
looking for here is something like:

FOO (a company, industry sector, etc.) is applying BAR (a Semantic Web 
technology or language) to do BAZ (some kind of work)

Prototypes being developed in conjunction with customers can be 
included, if they're identified as such, but I'm not looking for 
speculation about things that *could* at some point reasonably be 
Semantic Web applications, unless they're considered a potential future 
extension of some more concrete activity.  Also, I'm not using 
"applications" here to mean programs that parse or store or edit RDF, 
OWL, etc., or things of that sort. "Applications" here means things like 
interchange of real estate or scientific data, knowledge collection and 
management, metadata about resources of various kinds, agents and other 
"smart" applications, etc.  Finally, "business" isn't restricted to 
private enterprise;  government applications are fine too.

b.  If you are looking for Semantic Web business applications, what 
criteria do you use for determining what a "business application" is, or 
what sorts of applications do you consider "business applications"? 
(I'm asking this question because apparently just because a Semantic Web 
technology is used in some business activity doesn't necessarily mean it 
counts as a "business application" to everyone).

c. If you think that certain applications given as examples of business 
applications are *not* business applications, please say why you think 
they aren't.

Further background:  There are a number of what some of us consider 
existing business applications of Semantic Web technology identified in 
the RDF Primer and other W3C documents and presentations on the Semantic 
Web and related areas. Nevertheless, the question of whether there are 
any business applications continues to arise.  Part of the problem is 
probably that we're simply not getting the word out well enough.  But 
another part is that we don't necessarily have a thorough understanding 
of what people are looking for when they say "business application". 
Hence this message.

Thanks for your help.

--Frank
Received on Tuesday, 1 March 2005 14:33:17 UTC

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