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Interfaces Re: explain semantic web to your gran

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2004 09:00:44 -0400 (EDT)
To: "H Hollis, Archaeology" <hh3845@bristol.ac.uk>
Cc: www-rdf-interest@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.55.0408140843570.16505@homer.w3.org>

Hello Heidi,

this sounds like an interesting project. Some thoughts...

A semantic web interface, in short, is one that lets you gather some object
into as many relationships (categories?) as it fits in.

An interface to the semantic web is something that looks at the results of
that process, and tries to make sense of it. A lot of them are pretty basic,
trying to reduce the information to drop-down menus of categories.

It turns out interface design is pretty difficult. I hope someone has
suggested you look at the varieties of inteface based on foafnaut (foafcorp,
the version that does family relationships, etc). I haven't met many
interfaces for creating data that are particularly nice. Getting a tour of
RDFAuthor from one of the folks in Bristol who REALLY know it well (it was
made in Bristol) might give you some ideas about what it does nicely, and
what is difficult.

There are some systems that start out based on menus, but make it easy enough
to extend the systems. Making nice interfaces is a challenge, and I wish I
had seen more of them I could show as examples.



On Wed, 11 Aug 2004, H Hollis, Archaeology wrote:

>Hi, I'm an MA student with a question.
>What site(s) would you show to your gran to explain the power of semantic
>I am designing an educational online database of digital archival material
>from a museum, in which I want the relationships between the objects
>(images, short films, artefacts, sound clips) to have a flexible
>associations. The objects in the database should be the starting point of
>exploration, not then end-point of a series of drop-down menus and
>categories. I want the user to have a part in creating the groups into
>which the artefacts are gathered (so a photo is not just boxed into 19th
>Century India but could also be gathered into images of Tigers, or Differnt
>Styles of Dress).
>A colleague here in Bristol suggested I look into semantic web as a way of
>understanding versitile organisation systems for databases, but I am not a
>techie, and am not sure I would know a semantic web interface if it stared
>me in the face.
>What sites can you recommend that might help me see what others have done
>and what is possible?
>Many thanks for any help.
>Heidi Hollis
>H Hollis, MA Archaeology/Screen Media

Charles McCathieNevile  http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  tel: +61 409 134 136
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Received on Saturday, 14 August 2004 13:00:44 UTC

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