Semantic Web/Semantic Web Applications

Semantic Web ApplicationsEdit

Unfortunately, the Semantic Web is dissimilar in many ways from the World Wide Web, including that you can't just point people to a Web site for them to realise how it's working, and what it is. However, there have been a number of small-scale Semantic Web applications written up. One of the best ones is Dan Connolly's Arcs and Nodes diagrams experiment:-

One of the objectives of the advanced development component of the Semantic Web activity is to demonstrate how RDF and Semantic Web technologies can be applied to the W3C Process to increase efficiency, reliability, etc. In the early stages of developing an RDF model of the W3C process, the tools I was using to visualize the model while working on it started working well enough that I started applying them to all sorts of stuff.
—Dan Connolly, Circles and arrows diagrams using stylesheet rules

Of course, this is a rather demonstration-oriented Semantic Web project, but it does illustrate the feasibility of applications being easily built using Semantic Web toolkits.

Another good example of the Semantic Web at work is Dan Brickley et al.'s RDFWeb. RDFWeb is a RDF database-driven hypermedia blogspace, a site where all information is stored as RDF, and then that RDF used to render XHTML. Plans are underway to incorporate more advanced Semantic Web principles into the site. What Can I Do To Help?

There are many ways in which one can contribute to creating the Semantic Web. Here's a few of them:-

   * Publish some globally useful data in RDF.
   * Write an inference engine in the language of your choice.
   * Spread the word: do some education and outreach.
   * Help in the development of RDF Schema and/or DAML.
   * Contribute in representing state in RDF, a rather neglected field of research.
   * Apply your own development backgrounds to the Semantic Web, give us all a new angle to consider it from.
   * Instead of using some proprietary system for your next application, consider making it a Semantic Web project instead.

There are many other ways in which one can help as well: ask in the community for more details. What Now? Further Reading

As of 2001-09, the amount of Semantic Web Education and Outreach materials can only really be described as "pitiful" (hence this introduction, for a start). Here's a short list of some of the good primers and materials currently available, in no particular order:-

   * http://www.w3.org/2000/10/swap/Primer (Getting Into RDF & Semantic Web Using N3)
   * http://www.w3.org/DesignIssues/Semantic (Semantic Web Roadmap)
   * http://purl.org/swag/whatIsSW (What Is The Semantic Web?)
   * http://uwimp.com/eo.htm (Semantic Web Primer)
   * http://logicerror.com/semanticWeb-long (Semantic Web Introduction - Long)
   * http://www.scientificamerican.com/2001/0501issue/0501berners-lee.html (SciAm: The Semantic Web)
   * http://www.xml.com/pub/a/2001/03/07/buildingsw.html (Building The Semantic Web)
   * http://infomesh.net/2001/06/swform/ (The Semantic Web, Taking Form)
   * http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/Activity (SW Activity Statement)
   * http://www.w3.org/2000/01/sw/ (SWAD)

For more information, all the latest news etc., Dave Beckett's Resource Description Framework (RDF) Resource Guide is absolutely brilliant.

Many Semantic Web and RDF developers hang out on the RDF IG IRC chatroom, on irc.openprojects.net, #rdfig.