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W3C Celebrates Semantic Web Progress at SemTech 2009

Tue 16th , June 2009

By: W3C


W3C technical staff and more than 30 W3C Member organizations will present at the Semantic Technology Conference (SemTech) this week in San Jose, California.

Sessions led by W3C staff and Member organizations highlight the accelerating rate of adoption and deployment of Semantic Web technologies in the past year. "We have gathered a growing number of Semantic Web use cases and case studies in the past 12 months," said Ivan Herman, Semantic Web Activity Lead for W3C and one of the presenters. "What thrills me is the diversity of application areas for the Semantic Web, including more software, services and tools, as well as successful deployment in business and industry."

W3C collects and publishes Semantic Web use cases and case studies as part of its community building and outreach programs.



Community Needs Drives Advances in Standards for Web of Data

W3C presenters will discuss advances in semantic tools to help people build, organize, and manage their data. The maturing standards provide tools for:

  • knowledge representation on the Web. Data on the Web is expressed using terms such as "author" or "flight number" or "account number." When people wish to assign meaning to those terms and to express relationships among them ("'auteur' means the same thing as 'author', in French"), they can used the Web Ontology Language (OWL).
  • knowledge organization systems such as thesauri, classification schemes, subject heading systems and taxonomies. The new Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS) specification has already been used by librarians and others to create more than 20 thesauri, including the United States Library of Congress Authorities and Vocabularies and the Leibnitz Information Centre for Economics of the German National Library of Economics.
  • content descriptions that will make it easier to provide, customize, and trust information added to large number of resources on the Web. The Protocol for Web Description Resources (POWDER) addresses the issue of publishing trustworthy metadata easily for a large number of Web resources. The POWDER Primer lists a number of benefits to various audiences, including these: end users will have an easier time judging the trustworthiness of information, publishers will be able to add more semantics to existing information, and service providers will be able to offer real-time content personalization.
  • rule systems to address use cases in a variety of disciplines, including: the ability to negotiate eBusiness contracts across rule platforms, managing business policies and practices across organizational boundaries, rule support for medical decisions. The primary goal of the Rules Interchange Format (RIF) is to be an effective means of exchanging rules (such as "business rules") in a way that is widely adopted in industry and that is consistent with existing W3C technologies.

W3C continues to work with community members to review and recommend new standards for the advancement and realization of the Semantic Web. In time for SemTech, W3C announces that SKOS and OWL, as Proposed Recommendations, are nearly complete. OWL 2 is a Candidate Recommendation, meaning it is considered technically sound and ready for implementation experience. OWL 2 builds on the original OWL standards (published in 2004) and adds features sought by the community. The basic design of RIF is now complete, and this week W3C expects to announce "Last Call" draft specifications, meaning the public can confirm the technical soundness of the document.

About the World Wide Web Consortium [W3C]

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international consortium where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards.

W3C primarily pursues its mission through the creation of Web standards and guidelines designed to ensure long-term growth for the Web.

Over 400 organizations are Members of the Consortium. W3C is jointly run by the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT CSAIL) in the USA, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) headquartered in France and Keio University in Japan,and has additional Offices worldwide. For more information see http://www.w3.org/


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