Semantic web and structured wikis

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Raw notes

structured vs. semantic...

  • [?] - the key is reuse -- data that's marked up such as a date can then be used elsewhere
  • [yaron] they tie in -- if you're making it structured, it *should* be semantic!
    • but there are some that are one but not the other ;)

example of structured but not semantic: Wikipedia's infobox data.

example of semantic but not structured: Semantic MediaWiki lets you annotate things free-form and doesn't enforce any structural relationships or organization.

Building block for 'semantic web' as we know it is relational triplets: [subject predicate object] (as in RDF, but not necessarily locked to it). (Data set may, or may not actually offer a structured graph you can follow.)

  • [Italy has-capital Rome]
  • [I have-listened-to "Rubber Soul"]
  • [I am-a-friend-of you]
  • connected notes can be followed: [Stephane is-a-friend-of Pete] -> [Pete owns-this-album "Rubber Soul"]

Structures may exist (such as links, categories, infoboxes, etc) which are followable but don't provide an easy machine-readable triplet... Adding other information later can also be difficult if you hadn't planned for it.

Info in a wiki page that's not annotated is hard to search or read by machine or re-use. "No better than a typewriter" :)

[stephane] Don't need structure to be semantic -- you can mark up your freeform text. Microformats a stepping-stone to aid in exposing data for reuse directly in HTML as well.

Why structured? Why semantic?
makes data entry easier public information in RDF for re-use
allows for easier querying allows for querying data
allows for aggregating data (in tables, graphs, maps, calendars etc.)

[stephane] Ontology vs folksonomy...

  • ad-hoc tagging is good enough for a lot of things, but can be very hard to match up
  • formal ontologies generally built by experts, may be very complex, and might not match up well with other defined ontologies but will be very useful within a specific area.

[marc p] One of the neat things about wiki is that it's neither -- human intervention can switch things around, create new stuff, and apply things as they need to be changed with as much precision as needed

[yaron] Wikipedia is the biggest, most important semantic web project... despite not having much native semantic markup yet! The fact that it provides a unique URI for each term/concept means a shared vocabulary for many other semantic web projects... DBpedia serves as a middleman for this naming structure.

[someone] There are great semantic things that aren't wikis!

Further reading:

  • Zemanta
  • DBpedia
  • (in English too by tomorrow)
  • Semantic MediaWiki
  • Wagn

Categories vs semantic... oh so much fun :D


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