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Showing the Semantic Web

From: Danny Ayers <danny.ayers@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 18 Jan 2006 19:00:45 +0100
Message-ID: <1f2ed5cd0601181000v239d8638gc3ec6ec0369ccf8e@mail.gmail.com>
To: Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>

It's been noted recently that we need to do more showing than telling [1,2].

So here's a little chirpy call for (pointers to) -

1. any very practical tutorial material (which I'll add to [3])

2. applications with clear, immediate utility, which ideally are
publicly accessible (which will hopefully call for another list, maybe
on the ESW Wiki)

3. short descriptions of how published RDF/OWL data is being used by
consumers (not sure where they'll go, but I'm curious anyway ;-)

Some rationale on those three...

Although there's a little bit of practical tutorial material around,
passive descriptive talk dominates.

The question "where are the applications?" has been historically hard
to answer in part because of the general focus on developing
infrastructure, and a large proportion of systems are very
general-purpose tools (APIs, stores etc) rather than actual
applications in themselves. But I'm pretty sure there is now a
convincing array of 'true' applications out there, though still can't
really answer the question :-(

There are a few resource directories around, e.g. SchemaWeb [4] has a
good collection of vocabularies, there's Dave Beckett's (huge)
Resource Guide [5]. But although these are great for people already
familiar with Semantic Web technologies, they don't really fulfil the
role of (selectively) "showing" when it comes to developers and
end-users not already familiar with the kit.

Another aspect of "showing" could be to point out the wonderful ways
in which published RDF is being usefully consumed. Being able to say
that systems/companies X, Y and Z are using/developing SemWeb tech is
one thing, but often the benefits/utility isn't apparent. For example,
Adobe's authoring/design tools have been embedding RDF (XMP) in docs
and images for quite a while now, but I personally haven't a clue what
tools there are that can do something useful with that data. I know of
a couple of aggregators that make good use of RSS 1.0 over other
formats, I'm sure there are a lot more systems that use this stuff.
There are quite a few gadgets built around FOAF, but I'm not sure
where to find an up to date list, and so on...

Moderately related, I recently started compiling a weekly summary of
Semantic Web-related points [6]. It's been very intermittent so far
but I'm hoping I'll be in the routine soon (the System One folks have
offered to help out with some tools, should make the job easier).
Anyhow, although I do monitor this list, if I miss your announcement
please let me know.


[1] http://www.redmonk.com/jgovernor/archives/001207.html
[2] http://torrez.us/archives/2006/01/17/409
[3] http://dannyayers.com/archives/2005/10/03/semantic-web-starting-points/
[4] http://www.schemaweb.info
[5] http://planetrdf.com/guide/
[6] http://dannyayers.com/archives/category/virtual-world/semantic-web/sw-weekly/


Received on Wednesday, 18 January 2006 18:00:59 UTC

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