Thursday, October 30, 2008

What is the Semantic Web?

I get this question a lot and below is what the semantic web means to me. What do you view as the semantic web?

Software is built around models: logical representations of a system of entities. Models are an important part of software development, as the user's experience is often a reflection of the underlying model. Any flaws in the model will cascade up all the way to the user's interaction with the system.

Today's software programs have many different users with many different perspectives. Attempting to satisfy everyone with a single model leads to complexity that make the model difficult to understand and use.

The semantic web provides standards to express interconnected models by capturing and contextualizing the knowledge about them. Semantic web technologies allows one to access the larger conceptual data model and from more abstract points of view. This enables both people *and* software to navigate between both high level and detailed views so information can easily be examined and modified from different perspectives.

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