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semantic web & structured data portals

From: Heitzso <xxh1@cdc.gov>
Date: Thu, 3 Aug 2000 18:09:10 -0400
Message-ID: <B7F9A3E3FDDDD11185510000F8BDBBF2019C7587@mcdc-atl-5.cdc.gov>
To: "'www-rdf-interest@w3.org'" <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
I've been searching for clues for (future) web standards based
data portals.  I am a consultant at the Centers for Disease Control
and am aware of a dozen or so data projects that have one or more
of the following components spec'ed:
  
  web/internet based
  metadata registry/repository (as in 11179)
  data portal for humans via browsers
  data portal for other servers/apps
  distributed data sources

Most of the context for this data is common relational db type
data along with survey data.  For instance birth and death
counts by diesase, etc.  So the focus is *not* document 
oriented.  Many of these projects will hopefully be used around 
the world and have long lives.

I, personally, automatically add the following to the wish list:

  meta-data is data, so the same tool operates on both
  discovery of data, i.e. you don't know in advance what 
    data will be found at a site, only that a site will provide
    data as per some standard technology

Does anyone monitoring this list have clues for me re
the current-best-guess technology to focus on?

(more follows after the sign-off if you want more background info)

Thanks, 
Heitzso
Information Technology Branch
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
xxh1@cdc.gov

==============

The idea of the semantic web is a tease.  Yes, a triple can be used
to describe the contents of a relational db (tease, tease, tease).  
But the discussion always pulls back from the brink of full data 
exploration and retreats to the realm of metadata.  (what I mean by
'describe contents of' is that it can represent the data stored
in a relational db).

What I'm searching for would be for structured data what html/http does for
documents with the added benefit of being fully traversible by both humans
and robots/apps/other-servers.  In other words a semantic web
that includes repositories of structured data.

SOAP is a tease because it provides a nice language neutral
way to ask a question with structured data and get a structured
response.  But it's just a small piece of the puzzle and there
are other ways to skin that particular cat.

Clues?

Thanks,
Heitzso
Received on Thursday, 3 August 2000 18:09:59 GMT

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