The Semantic Web is a term that is accredited to Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the first World Wide Web. It is an important component in Web 3.0 , the future of the World Wide Web. The basic idea behind the Semantic Web is "linked data." It is important to understand that the Semantic Web is not a new World Wide Web; it is simply building on top of the existing Web. It is about reframing and linking the data that is already available on the World Wide Web. The Semantic Web refers to the languages and guidelines used to achieve a more "intelligent Internet." When Berners-Lee began the World Wide Web users were asked to post documents that can be linked together. For the Semantic Web to exist, users must post data that can be linked together with another user's data.
How would it work?Edit
Tim Berners-Lee has described the current state of the World Wide Web as a "giant book." The future, Semantic Web, as he calls it, attempts to sort the book into a "giant database." The foundations of the Semantic Web are the same as Web 2.0. The Semantic Web expands upon the current Web. When you have data independent of other data a clear picture cannot be drawn. When data is linked to other data then that new data can be linked to other data. This creates a web of data that can be interpreted into meaning. In the Semantic Web HTTP will not only refer to documents but can also refer to objects such as people, products, and events. Important information can be retrieved from a search and the retrieved information also has relationships (Place of birth: Where is it? What is the population there? Interesting facts about that location?)
How do we do it?Edit
It is important to understand that the The Semantic Web builds upon the existing World Wide Web. Everyone is responsible for building the Semantic Web. The idea is that if everyone is responsible for adding their bits of data.
For the Semantic Web to exist, more metadata needs to be added to web pages. Although the W3C works to establish standards in markup, since the Web is user driven it is difficult to get complete agreement from every user.
XML and RDF
XML and RDF are the langauges that make the Sematic Web possible.
XML stands for eXtensible Markup Language. It is a markup language similar to (but more strict than) HTML. Automated agents, or bots, collect and interpret data for search engines.
RDF stands for Resource Description Framework. It provides a framework to describe resources. In the Semantic Web, everything is considered a resource. Any noun can be associated with a place on the Web. Each noun is identified by a subject, property, and object triplet. The subject is the identity of the noun. RDF provides a clear relationship between objects. A Uniform Resource Identifier, or URI, is used to distinguish unique objects. A URL is a type of URI. A URI can also be an object that is not on the web.
A problem with Web 3.0 is that users typically only post documents that look neat and of their choosing. When data becomes linked then outside factors may become more apparant. For example, scientists doing an Alzheimer's Research would typically only post data that they believe is relative to the study. What they might not realize (and what linked data might help point out) is that there might be underlying factors that were not obvious beforehand. Linking genomics, environmental factors, and other bits of data may paint a bigger picture for humans to more easily analyze. The Semantic Web would also define relationships among objects. If there was a search for President Barack Obama, there would be a web of data that would tell basic information like his parents, date of birth, and place of birth. It would also be able to link his place of birth to historical events in that area.
All items (2)