The bright future of Semantic Web

25 February 2010 by Anna Mieczakowski  
Filed under News and views

Semantic Web is a nascent vision of Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the WWW and the director of the W3C, which was first mentioned in 1999 by Berners-Lee but properly unveiled in 2001 in the “Scientific American” magazine by Berners-Lee and colleagues.

Semantic Web is a component of ‘Web 3.0′ and is a vision of information that is understandable by computers so that they can find, combine and act upon information on the Web. It is not a replacement for the WWW but rather an enhancement or an extension which gives the WWW a greater utility by allowing people to share content beyond the boundaries of applications and websites.

In essence, the technologies that would make the Semantic Web vision come true include:

  1. a common language for representing data that could be understood by different types of software agents
  2. ontologies that translate information from disparate databases into common terms
  3. rules that allow software agents to reason about the information described in those terms.

The Semantic Web adheres to the W3C standards and the W3C has already released appropriate languages and technologies [Resource Description Framework (RDF), Web Ontology Language (OWL), SPARQL Protocol and RDF Query Language (SPARQL), etc.] to provide an environment for accessing data from diverse sources, integrating that data, querying it and drawing inferences using vocabularies. For example, RDF and OWL are used to create vocabularies, taxonomies and ontologies, which are stored in RDF repositories, while SPARQL is emerging as a query language for RDF data.

As different Semantic Web software tools are constantly being development, the principles of the Semantic Web have already been employed in the tagging systems that have flourished on the Web including delicious, digg and the DOI system, and in custom tags available on social networking sites such as Flickr and MySpace. There is also a healthy industry growing around the Semantic Web including:

  • startups (Top Quadrant, C&P, Talis, Zepheira, Cambridge Semantics, Garlik, OpenLink, iSOCO, Franz Inc., Sandpiper, Aduna, Faviki, Twine, etc.)
  • big corporations offering tools (IBM, Oracle, HP, Adobe, Profium, etc.)
  • other companies using it in some way or other (Novartis, Sun, Eli Lily, EDF, Yahoo!, Google, FAO, Bankinter, etc.)

The future of the Semantic Web seems promising as, according to Gartner report from May 2007, “by 2012, 15% of public Web sites will use more extensive Semantic Web-based ontologies to create semantic databases (0.6 probability)”. However, Wikipedia lists some of the major challenges for the Semantic Web including vastness (48 billion pages on the WWW), vagueness (imprecise concepts like “young” or “tall”), uncertainty (precise concepts with uncertain values), inconsistency (logical contradictions) and deceit ( intentional misleading between the producter and the consumer of the information).

Only the time will show how successful the vision of the Semantic Web really is!

EventManager case study appears in the newest Taschen book

19 February 2010 by Anna Mieczakowski  
Filed under Event management, News and views

A case study of Kent House’s proprietary event management software, EventManager, has been featured in the latest Taschen book titled “The Internet Case Study Book”. As most of Taschen’s technology-oriented books, this book has also been published by ‘one of the best, if not the best, surfer of the web’, Julius Widemann, in collaboration with Rob Ford.

“The Internet Case Study Book” features 60 success stories from clients’ briefings to final projects divided into five chapters: Campaigns, E-Commerce, Promotional, Social Media and Corporate. Kent House’s EventManager case study appears in the “Corporate” chapter on pages 366-369. This book will be available for purchase from April 2010 but you can have a look at the online version of this book and the case study of our software product here.

The almighty iPad

19 February 2010 by Anna Mieczakowski  
Filed under News and views

So, the latest creation of Apple and the most anticipated device since the iPhone, a touchscreen tablet dubbed the iPad, has been revealed. Steve Jobs, the company’ CEO, revealed it at a press conference in San Francisco in late January and said that “it’s so much more intimate than a laptop and so much more capable than a smartphone with this gorgeous, large display”. Rumor has it that Jobs has even said the iPad “will be the most important thing I’ve ever done.”

In a nutshell, iPad is 9.56 inches (242.8 mm) hight, 7.47 inches (189.7 mm) wide and all of its built-in apps take advantage of multi-touch screen and work in any orientation. It can be used for browsing webpages, doing e-mail, organising calendar and contacts, writing notes, enjoying and sharing photographs, watching videos, listening to music, playing games and reading e-books, etc. It has maps application, satellite view, the App Store, the iTunes Store and Spotlight Search for searching across iPad and all of its built-in apps, etc. The starting price of this new gadget is $499 (approximately £325) and the shipping of Wi-Fi and 3G models will start in late March.

Many book publishing companies, such as Taschen in which books Kent House published some of our finest brand identity logos and the EventManager case study, are taking the new iPad in their stride and are expanding their digital media departments in order to digitise all their books for the iPad. It looks like Taschen is one of those companies that can quickly adopt to new technology and change.

Google for some time now has wanted to create the world’s largest online library but recently it got into copyright monopoly trouble with US authors and publishers and several organisations including Amazon, Microsoft and Yahoo!. I just wonder how soon Apple with its iPad and e-book concepts will get drawn into the Google book fight…