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Intro to the Semantic Web

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This is a quick introduction to the semantic web. Over the next couple of minutes i´ll write lines about the talkest problems the web is facing today. I´ll also explain what´s being done about it and how it´s going to affect you. You don´t need to be a web developer or blogger to understand any of the concepts on the shore ... If you can open a web browser, then you can understand the semantic web. So before going any further is important to know what the world semantics actually means. Semantic is related to sintax. In most languages sintax is how you say something whereas semantics is the meaning behind what you say. Let´s take the frase "I love technology" as an example... The sintax is all the letters, words and punctuation in the sentence, the semantic is what the sentence actually means. In this case it means that you enjoy learning about and using new technology. Now if you want to change the sentence using a different symbol for the word "love", we´ve changed the sintax of the sentence, however note that the semantics of the sentence is still the same: when you write i "heart" technology still means that you enjoy learning about and using new technology. When we talk about sintax or semantics, what we´re really talking about is communication. When you want to communicate with somebody else, you use your voice to do so. The internet created an standard way for computers to communicate with one another. In other words it gave a voice to computers so that they may talk to each other and exchange information. However, much like appeared mimic kind of sounds so that understanding them, computers merely mimic kind of information to one another. So Internet enables computers to talk to one another, it was not designed to teach them what the information actually means. When the web came along and create a quick and easy way for ask to retrieve and view information, you can think of the web as a huge document storage and retrieval system. When you put a website adress in your browser it sends a request to the website. The request basically says that you would like the document located at the adress that you gave in. The website retrieves a document and sends it back yo your web browser. This document is read in a languaje called HTML. The HTML language defines the syntax that computers can understand. It tells the computers how to display the document to you. So the two really things that the web did is create a way to get any document on the internet and it also created the sintax, called HTML, that is used to display the document for you. So what´s the big deal? we have the internet that let´s us talk to each other, we have the web, that let´s us store and retrieve any document on the internet and we have search engines wich in find just about any website that we want. The web is actually pretty good so how we' re gonna make it better? The aswer lies in semantics. Remember computers today just politely retrieves and storage information, that´s the problem.. computers still don´t understand the meaning behind the web pages that they´re showing us. While they may understand the syntax, the semantics are losted on them. Now if we could get computers to recognize what is on a web page, they could learn what we´re interested in. If they know that, then they can help us get what we want, they would change from possibly helping us to actually helping us. This is really what the semantic web is all about. It helps computers to understand the meaning behind a web page. The web of today is about documents, whereas the semantic web is about things. When i say things i mean any thing: people, places, events, music, movies, organizations and just about any concept that you can think of. The semantic web is not only about pointing this things out to a computer, but also about letting computers know how all of these things are related to each other. There are several promising technologies that are used today that can embed semantics in each html documents. Two of the more popular ways are called microformats and RDF. So, the semantic web stuff is not something gonna happen in the future, it´s about something that is happening today. Things get really exciting when we start to explore the possibilities of the semantic web. Once your computer can understand what a person, a place and event is, it can strong helping you interact with those things. For example, if a particular party is marked up as an event on a date in a place, you can tell the computer to set the date in your calendar. Another example is in the world of music blogs. Music blogs usually list songs and albums reviews, on different pages. If the blog marked up the songs and the artists using semantic technology, you can tell your browser to find all the songs on the pages. Or search the internet for other albums by the same artist. Search engines will also become more accured than they are today. When you search you can say that you´re searching for a person, a place or a particular song. The search engine could surf websites with far more accuracy because it won´t happen that just deppend on keywords in webpages anymore. It can also deppend on the semantics in that web page. So the semantic web holds a great deal promise in making our lives easier by helping computers to help us get what we want. If you´d like to find out more about the semantic web there are a couple of websites that are good starting points. If you´d like to know how all this looks at a web browser, check out the operator plugin for the firefox web browser. There is also a group of people on the web called microformats community that are working and spreading the idea of the semantic web. Last but not least, the semantic web is also made a focus of the World Wide Web Consortium. They are the people who are working on xhtml and RDF and many of the other technologies that power the semantic web today. And in the future. This entire video and all of the souce material used to make it is developed under a creative commons atribution share like license. That means that you can remix and distribute copies of this video over the web, or via any computer network. I hope that you´ve learnt a bit more about web semantics and why it´s an important part of the web future. If you found this introduction helpful, please share with your friends. Subtitles: dreig. http://elcaparazon.net. Semantic planet: http://semanticaweb.info

Video Details

Duration: 6 minutes and 6 seconds
Year: 2008
Country: Spain
Language: English
Views: 11,127
Posted by: dreig on Sep 21, 2008

A short introduction to the semantic web. All source material in the Digital Bazaar wiki

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