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Re: Where are the semantic web applications?

From: Hugh Glaser <hg@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Date: Sat, 10 Jul 2010 11:21:29 +0000
To: Eyal Sela <eyal@isoc.org.il>, "semantic-web@w3.org" <semantic-web@w3.org>
Message-ID: <EMEW3|0b4d925eca328c276f8c7ba5e8132a5fm69CLu02hg|ecs.soton.ac.uk|C85E1649.15BA2%hg@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Hi Eyal,
I think maybe it is time that you got a reply to this :-)

The first thing is that it should be quite hard to identify that a website is a “semantic web application”.
I would say that a good site should hide the details of technology of implementation, whatever that technology is – why would users want to know?

A couple of sites come to mind:
The BBC in the UK has done a lot of SW stuff, and for the World Cup made an exciting decision to use an RDF store right from the start of its developing coverage.
Thus its site:

can, I think, be described as a genuine semweb site. See:

It is impossible to see that the BBC site is wemweb, which is just great, as far as I am concerned.

Museums Finland has had semweb facilities attached for many years now, and a metasearch (I think that is what it is) can be found at


Our own http://rkbexplorer.com/ site is semweb throughout.

But in fact, I think things get even more complicated.
Semantic Web should not be “all or nothing”.
It is one of the technologies that can inform an application or web site, and so components of “normal” sites can use semweb, and I think this is increasingly what you will see.
Two examples we have facilitated:
At the British Museum, we have used semweb to link up their Conservation data with the Catalogue, so that the web can show both.
If you click on the “Conservation” tab at:

It does various things, including live queries to a remote RDF store, to add this small bit – not a lot, but that is the way of the world.

Another example from ECS at Southampton queries the Community of Practice service from rkbexplorer to embed a “Works with” list into home pages, using analysis of the weighted different semantic relations between people to rank them. Eg (on the right under the photo):

(And of course the whole site has published RDF for many years, which is on eof the reasons it was relatively easy to add our facility.)


On 08/06/2010 13:59, "Eyal Sela" <eyal@isoc.org.il> wrote:

With Facebook causing lots of websites publish RDFa, I would expect to see some interesting semantic web applications (i.e. ones that consume linked data, such as http://data.nytimes.com/schools/schools.html). I'm constantly monitoring the web for these application, but haven't run into ones yet (except those which display as HTML the RDFa that was in a web page).

Any thought on why that is or where I could find them?

אייל סלע | מנהל פרויקטים, הועדה הטכנולוגית ומשרד ה-W3C הישראלי | איגוד האינטרנט הישראלי |  www.isoc.org.il <http://www.isoc.org.il/>  | www.w3c.org.il <http://www.w3c.org.il/>

Eyal Sela | Project Manager, Technology Committee & the Israeli W3C office | Israel Internet Association (ISOC-IL) | www.isoc.org.il <http://www.isoc.org.il/> | www.w3c.org.il <http://www.w3c.org.il/>

Received on Saturday, 10 July 2010 11:22:32 UTC

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