An extension of the World Wide Web, Semantic Web enables people to share content beyond the boundaries of applications and websites.
Programs based on Semantic web can configure appliances. So, if you answer your phone, you won’t have to turn down the music system’s volume, it’ll do so on its own.
Of course, the invention of the World Wide Web has redefined information sharing. In fact, we can’t even imagine life without this platform anymore. So just imagine if there’s some thing better and beyond the World Wide Web, what would it mean for us.
Well, there is something already – called the Semantic Web.
What’s the idea?
It was the inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee who first envisioned the creation of the Semantic web. In a nutshell, the Semantic Web is about machines talking to machines. Understand this: Humans are capable of using the Web to carry out tasks such as finding the German word for horse. However, a computer cannot accomplish the same task without human direction because web pages are designed to be read by people, not machines. The semantic web is a vision of information that is understandable by computers or that they can perform more of the tedious work involved in finding combining and acting upon information on the web.
If information about music, cars, tickets etc were stored in Resource Description Format files (language for describing information and resources on the web) intelligent web applications could collect information from many different sources, combine information, and present it to users in a meaningful way. Thus, information like car prices from different resellers, plane schedules, information about books (price pages, edition year) can be compiled by the computer itself for us. We won’t have to read through multiple links and sift for the information need.
e-frauds a thing of past:
An important feature of this more developed Web is digital signatures which are encrypted blocks of data that computers can use to verify if particular information has been provided by a specific trusted source. You want to be quite sure that a statement sent to your accounting program that you owe money to an online retailer is not forgery generated by miscreants.
Next steps of the Semantic Web>>
Once the Semantic moves out of industry and commercial bounds it will spill out of the virtual realm and extend into the physical space for home users. Universal Resource Identifier (URI) can point to anything, including physical entities. This will change the rules of automation of home appliances that requires careful configuration for them to work together. Imagine you get a call, and your stereo volume goes down automatically when you answer the phone! Instead of having to program each specific appliance one could program such a function once and for all to cover every device that has a volume control – the TV, the DVD player, and even the media players on your laptop.
Building blocks for this extension >>
The building blocks for this extension are already in place: RDF, OWL, micro formats are a few of them. But experts say it will take some time to annotate the world’s information and then to capture personal information in the right way. Some IT companies are already actively trying to implement the Semantic Web. We are getting close, but we are probably few years off still before the big promise of the Semantic Web is fulfilled.