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Re: Size matters -- How big is the danged thing

From: Matthias Samwald <samwald@gmx.at>
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2008 12:40:52 +0100
Message-ID: <4B27C45E67E94BA59C9550B7E7281D0E@ms>
To: Sören Auer <auer@informatik.uni-leipzig.de>
Cc: "Giovanni Tummarello" <giovanni.tummarello@deri.org>, "Jim Hendler" <hendler@cs.rpi.edu>, <public-lod@w3.org>

> I remember these early days of the Web, when people liked to draw maps of 
> the WWW, and these really quickly disappeared when it got big. I hope that 
> happens to the Data Web, too.

I am quite sure that this will happen soon; for example, there are several 
large datasets in the pipeline of the "Linking Open Drug Data" task force at 
the W3C [1].

But generally, I wonder whether the early (90ies?) WWW is a good comparison 
for the current web of data. After all, the current WWW is quite different 
from early WWW, right? Besides the distributed blogosphere, a major part of 
the life on today's web happens on a handful of very popular web sites (such 
as Wikipedia, Facebook, Youtube, and other obvious candidates).
Likewise, there are many information resources for specialized domains, such 
as life science. But 90% of the users in this particular domain only makes 
use of a small, selected set of the most popular information resources in 
their daily work life (such as PubMed or UniProt).

Rather than trying to do a rapid expansion over the whole web through very 
light-weight, loose RDFization of all kinds of data, it might be more 
rewarding to focus on creating rich, relatively consistent and interoperable 
RDF/OWL representations of the information resources that matter the most. 
Of course, this is not an either-or decision, as both processes (the 
improvement in quality and the increase in quantity) will happen in 
parallel. But I think that quality should have higher priority than 
quantity, even if it might be harder to, uhm, quantify quality.

[1] http://esw.w3.org/topic/HCLSIG/LODD/Data/DataSetEvaluation

Matthias Samwald

* Semantic Web Company, Austria || http://semantic-web.at/
* DERI Galway, Ireland || http://deri.ie/
* Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution & Cognition Research, Austria || 
Received on Thursday, 20 November 2008 11:41:36 UTC

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