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Re: Is there real world RDF-S/OWL instance data?

From: Bob DuCharme <bob@snee.com>
Date: Fri, 4 Aug 2006 13:02:53 -0400 (EDT)
Message-ID: <12397.65.41.110.164.1154710973.squirrel@webmail8.pair.com>
To: "Frank Manola" <fmanola@acm.org>
Cc: bob@snee.com, Sören Auer <auer@informatik.uni-leipzig.de>, semantic-web@w3.org

I tend to alternate between optimism like Harry's and pessimism. More
pessimism:

On Thu, August 3, 2006 5:44 pm, Frank Manola wrote:

>  Given the
> standard, anyone who wants to can develop instance data conforming to it
> (I suppose you could describe the electrical equipment in your house).

This is pretty typical of what I've heard a lot: someone creates an
ontology for public use and says that the data can come from anyone who
wants to create it... and no one does. Few seem to have (or offer) any
incentive to create public data conforming to someone else's ontology,
despite the seeminlgly limitless incentives for people to create web pages
and weblog entries.

> Finally, of course, an organization (or an individual) might want better
> interoperability with the general public.  The kinds of data that appear
> on the current Web fall into this category (or could fall into it),
> e.g., product catalogs, airline schedules, public geographic
> information, as well as extensions of it  such as individual calendars
> (e.g., for scheduling appointments), etc.  I'd certainly like to see
> much more of that data available in RDF.

They might want better interoperability, and I'd like to see more of that
data available in RDF too, but we've been saying these things for years
now.

I certainly understand why a company wants to keep their own data hidden
from the outside world; what I'm trying to understand is why the vast
majority of RDF instance data is created by companies using it on private
data. Why are so few people creating public data? (I don't really count
FOAF files, which are just demo data--after replying to Friendster
invitations for years with "I'll link my FOAF file to yours if you link
yours to mine," I was shocked to see, upon registering with Friendster,
how many RDF names had profiles there--and RDF 1.0 data is too transient
to form much basis for any kind of web.)

The incentives to create it just aren't there. We have to think of some.
For example, if MovableType started putting RDF/A metadata in its default
templates instead of commented-out RDF/XML, that would be one jump start
for getting a lot of parsable triples on the web. What other kinds of jump
starts are we still waiting for?

thanks,

Bob DuCharme
http://www.snee.com/bobdc.blog
Received on Friday, 4 August 2006 17:03:07 UTC

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