This was a joint event, run with the Information for Energy Group (IFEG) and hosted at The Energy Institute. The session addressed the issue of linked data and the semantic web.
Whereas Web 1.0 might be thought of as ‘brochure ware’, one-way communication, and Web 2.0 has come to mean interactive, two-way communication online, the future seems to be for information and knowledge management itself to move onto the web.
What is linked data? Richard gave an excellent introduction to the topic, leading us through a logical path to understanding how information from different data sets can be shared, merged and used online. When the web originated, it was about publishing text documents with links to other text documents, using html. Linked data is about linking ‘things’ to other ‘things’, by giving them a label or identifier (a URI). Things also have attributes, like a name, size, location, etc.
How about semantic search? Victoria’s talk began from the opposite end of the spectrum – given that linked data exists on the web, how do you search for it? Traditional online searching is based around keyword search, which uses methods such as counting words, page ranking using links, controlled form searching (eg; OPAC) or metadata. These methods were developed for searching text. To search structured data needs a different approach.
Linked data tools and open data publishing seems to have many potential benefits and also some risks; as with any rapid change the regulation and safeguards against the risks will probably lag behind what is taking place in practice.
Richard Wallis is a Technology Evangelist and has been with the UK’s leading Linked Data and Semantic Web technology company, Talis, for over eleven years. This coupled with his passion for and engagement with new and emerging technology trends, gives him a unique perspective of the issues challenging Information professionals today. As Technology Evangelist he is at the forefront in promoting, explaining, and applying new and emerging Web and Semantic Web technologies in the wider information domain. Richard is an active blogger and regular podcaster in the ‘Talking with Talis’ series.
Victoria Uren supported Richard.
Time and Venue
November 2011, 2pm The British Dental Association, 64 Wimpole Street, London W1G 8YS
No slides available
See our blog report: What next for the Web and information services? Linked data and semantic search