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

From: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Date: Fri, 03 Jul 2009 14:19:52 -0400
Message-ID: <4A4E4BC8.2090404@openlinksw.com>
To: François Dongier <francois.dongier@gmail.com>
CC: Chris Bizer <chris@bizer.de>, public-lod@w3.org, SW-forum <semantic-web@w3.org>
François Dongier wrote:
> 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.

I really know of no application that doesn't produce some kind of output.

I also know of no kind of output that is devoid of representation :-)
> 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.
Of course they won't be able to catchup. I wonder if they've computed 
this reality yet.
> 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 .

They will share it, in due course. To their credit, they do have an API 
that is nearing release, and APIs are always the final step en route to 
Linked Data. By this I mean: APIs ultimately accelerate comprehension of 
why: Code is like FISH and Data like Wine :-)

Kingsley
>
> Regards,
> François
>
> 2009/7/3 Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com 
> <mailto: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> <mailto: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>
>          
>          <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>
>         <mailto:chris@bizer.de <mailto:chris@bizer.de>>
>
>            
>
>
>
>     -- 
>
>
>     Regards,
>
>     Kingsley Idehen       Weblog:
>     http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen
>     <http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/%7Ekidehen>
>     President & CEO OpenLink Software     Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
>
>
>
>
>


-- 


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 18:20:32 UTC

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