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The Semantic Spider Web
By: Michael Lowry
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    2008-04-09

    Table of Contents:
  • The Semantic Spider Web
  • Can It Be Done?
  • The KnowItAll Project
  • Getting a Clear Picture

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    The Semantic Spider Web


    (Page 1 of 4 )

    Have you ever tried to explain yourself to someone, but for whatever reason, it just wasn't registering? You try breaking it down so that each part is more understandable by itself than as a whole. This sounds a lot like trying to mold your query into a search engine or website database. However, with the Semantic Web well on its way, eloquence as we know it may soon be a thing of the past. Reading on keep, please.

    The semantic web is generally thought to be just a part of the phenomenon known as Web 3.0, which also includes turning the web into a single database, making content available through non-browser applications, a 3D web, etc. It's all part of the evolution of Internet usage to where the Web can perform the tasks that normally require a human to guide it step by step.

    None of this would be possible without first creating a "Data Web," where structured data records are put into reusable formats, like XML and RDF, and put into the Web. The RDF (Resource Description Framework) offers an XML-based grammar to represent varied entities and their comprehensive relationships. The Data Web makes data more accessible and allows for application interoperability. Data is integrated at a new level, making the data itself as obtainable as a web page. In fact, data will be viewed apart from the web pages they are part of in order to make the computer more easily capable of completing specific tasks.

    Once the Data Web is in its final stages and structured data can be accessed using RDF, the next stage of the full-on Semantic Web can be brought to the point where even unstructured content can be accessed through RDF. Keep in mind that "Data Web" is a specific term used to describe a general idea, and the details used here describe that particular idea.

    Basically what I'm saying is this: all of the information on the Web is designed to be read by people. Humans are forced to search through the results of their queries to find the information they want. The Data Web, in general, transforms the data so that the computer can understand just like a human does. Hence, the term semantics, which is the field of linguistics focused on meaning. The notion that computers will be able to think for us, or at least carry out simple chores, becomes more clear when we think of the Web operating this way.

    The Semantic Web was first thought up by Tim Berners-Lee, often thought of as the man who invented the World Wide Web, and two colleagues, James Hendler and Ora Lassila. He thought of the Semantic Web as I just described, where all information is connected through a structured format, like RDF, that supplies meaning to the data that computers can understand.

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