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Re: Fusion Tables: Google's approach to sharing data on the Web

From: François Dongier <francois.dongier@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 3 Jul 2009 19:40:03 +0200
Message-ID: <dc2b60240907031040u4a00bba7o56af0b2885792ca4@mail.gmail.com>
To: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Cc: Chris Bizer <chris@bizer.de>, public-lod@w3.org, SW-forum <semantic-web@w3.org>
Kingsley,

Looks like you're imagining a scenario in which Wolfram Alpha, after having
done its mathematical computation relevant to a particular user query, would
expose its result in a format that would enrich the web of data. I agree
that this would indeed be pretty nice but I wasn't asking for so much: I was
more thinking of Alpha as an application at the end of the data processing
pipeline (for instance, for data visualisation), not so much as an
application that produces reusable output.
In fact I have two basic questions about Wolfram|Alpha:
1. How can Alpha take advantage of the (not always "curated") data available
on the web? This is the question I was asking, and it's not about data
format but about data correctness: Wolfram insists that they must "curate"
data to make sure it's reliable. I am worried that they won't be able to
catch up, given the explosion of data that will soon be produced by projects
such as Linked Data and Google Fusion Tables.
2. Will Wolfram want to expose its curated data (ideally in RDF), enabling
other applications (say, Sparql queries) to merge it with other data? Here
my question really is: will they want to share this data, or will they
prefer to keep it private? If they want to share it, then I agree that
Linked Data format would be best .

Regards,
François

2009/7/3 Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>

> François Dongier wrote:
>
>> I wonder how Wolfram|Alpha could take advantage of all this data made
>> available both by Google Fusion Tables and by the Linked Data project. Will
>> Alpha just try to slowly integrate it through its "curation pipeline"?
>> Wouldn't it be better to introduce something like "curation coefficients"
>> that would allow computation to be done by Alpha on imperfect data? This
>> would make it possible to quickly catch up on the published data, while
>> introducing some uncertainty in the results Alpha returns.
>>
> Francois,
>
> Since the overall theme is Linked Data (HTTP URIs for data objects), how
> does WolframAlpha add any value if the end result is an opaque HTML resource
> (one that lacks structure data granularity or pointers to structured data
> sources)?
>
> Value comes if Google exposes its Dataspace GUIDs as HTTP URIs, and then
> WolframAlpha (or anyone else in the data processing pipeline) does the same,
> then you get something that is truly valuable i.e.:
>
> 1. Computation Answer Engine that emits its Linked Data (as per Linked Data
> meme)
> 2. Google's contribution to the Linked Data Web realm via Data Spaces /
> Virtual Database technology that also emits Linked Data.
>
> The ultimate value of the Web remains the fundamental separation of the
> following re. data:
>
> 1. Identity
> 2. Storage
> 3. Access
> 4. Representation
> 5. Presentation.
>
> We cannot see, comprehend, and appreciate the Web via item #5 solely, which
> is always the case when the output representation from a Web service lacks
> pointers (HTTP URIs)  to  RDF model based structured and interlinked data
>  in line with Linked Data meme.
>
> To conclude, things will more than likely get better now that  Google,
> Yahoo!, and Microsoft (naturally) are beginning to see alignment between
> their respective customer-driven technology adoption strategies and the
> virtues of Linked Data, thanks to RDFa and the GoodRelations vocabulary.
>
>
> Kingsley
>
>>
>> Cheers,
>> François
>>
>>
>> On Fri, Jul 3, 2009 at 2:28 PM, Chris Bizer <chris@bizer.de <mailto:
>> chris@bizer.de>> wrote:
>>
>>
>>    Hi all,
>>
>>
>>    I’m regularly following Alon Halevy blog as I really like his
>>    thoughts on dataspaces [1].
>>
>>
>>    Today, I discovered this post about Google Fusion Tables
>>
>>
>>
>> http://alonhalevy.blogspot.com/2009/06/fusion-tables-third-piece-of-puzzle.html
>>
>>
>>    “The main goal of Fusion Tables is to make it easier for people to
>>    create, manage and share on structured data on the Web. Fusion
>>    Tables is a new kind of data management system that focuses on
>>    features that /enable collaboration/. […] In a nutshell, Fusion
>>    Tables enables you to upload tabular data (up to 100MB per table)
>>    from spreadsheets and CSV files. You can filter and aggregate the
>>    data and visualize it in several ways, such as maps and time
>>    lines. The system will try to recognize columns that represent
>>    geographical locations and suggest appropriate visualizations. To
>>    collaborate, you can share a table with a select set of
>>    collaborators or make it public. One of the reasons to collaborate
>>    is to enable /fusing/ data from multiple tables, which is a simple
>>    yet powerful form of data integration. If you have a table about
>>    water resources in the countries of the world, and I have data
>>    about the incidence of malaria in various countries, we can fuse
>>    our data on the country column, and see our data side by side.”
>>
>>
>>    See also
>>
>>
>>    Google announcement
>>    http://googleresearch.blogspot.com/2009/06/google-fusion-tables.html
>>
>>    Water data example
>>
>> http://www.circleofblue.org/waternews/2009/world/google-brings-water-data-to-life/
>>
>>
>>    Taken this together with Google Squared and the recent
>>    announcement that Google is going to crawl microformats and RDFa,
>>
>>    it starts to look like the folks at Google are working in the same
>>    direction as the Linking Open Data community, but as usual a bit
>>    more centralized and less webish.
>>
>>
>>    Cheers,
>>
>>
>>    Chris
>>
>>
>>
>>    [1] http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~franklin/Papers/dataspaceSR.pdf
>>    <http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/%7Efranklin/Papers/dataspaceSR.pdf>
>>
>>
>>    --
>>
>>    Prof. Dr. Christian Bizer
>>
>>    Web-based Systems Group
>>
>>    Freie Universität Berlin
>>
>>    +49 30 838 55509
>>
>>    http://www.bizer.de
>>
>>    chris@bizer.de <mailto:chris@bizer.de>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>
> --
>
>
> Regards,
>
> Kingsley Idehen       Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen
> President & CEO OpenLink Software     Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
>
>
>
>
>
Received on Friday, 3 July 2009 17:40:47 UTC

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