Visualizing the Semantic Web

We utilize the ever-evolving global web of information at every turn of our daily lives from documents to data and information.

As we progress with both the quantity and quality of information we share and retrieve, the Semantic Web refers to our ability to retrieve information based on what we mean (i.e., information in context, our intent, what we were really looking for). A slightly older (2007!) but interesting look at semantic apps is here.

Thus a semantic search on Google (see here for an interesting SEO look), will take into account who is searching, where are they searching, their past searches, and when are they searching in order to assign meaning to the search terms and produce results that are very close to what you were looking for. Thus it is in some way about hyperconnectivity, when we are able to easily and seamlessly make connections between information and knowledge. See an interesting Forbes article on Google search here.

What is the Semantic Web, after all?

From its original appearance in Scientific American in 2001 (and Berners-Lee’s vision) to today, the semantic web is “a Web of actionable information–information derived from data through a semantic theory for interpreting the symbols” (Shadbold, Hall, & Berners-Lee, 2006, article here).

The semantic theory provides an account of the “meaning in which the logical connection of terms establishes interoperability between systems” (Shadbold, Hall, & Berners-Lee, 2006, article here). The need for shared semantics enables assimilation of knowledge and information from different fields.

Ontologies and Challenges Therein

The challenge for semantic web is to develop shared ontologies (similar to those, say, in the life sciences), or language standards, that can be deployed on the Web. Ideally, the authors argue, the ontologies that will help us frame the semantic web will allow users to define parts of the data world and show interactions between the different forms of data.

Historically, in 1997, with the W3C defining the first Resource Description Framework (RDF) and the URI (Uniform Resource Identifier), the Web’s interoperability and functionality was enhanced. An ontology can be understood as an overarching knowledge framework from which to characterize the Web (or any field) and can be deep (such as those in science) or shallow (such as terms that enable categorizing data).

In reading the article, in a page or more, reflect on the following:

  1. How is tagging on the social web (consider apps that you use, e.g., Flickr) a form of metadata. How is Web 2.0 a form of social software?
  2. In considering the future, how will recent debates (assumptions about social behavior, copyright rules) inform the future development of the semantic web?
  3. What is the OWL–what does it mean for this discussion?

How does our discussion on the Semantic Web inform online dating web sites’ goals?

  1. What are the implications for algorithmic search and matching?
  2. What challenges do you see?
  3. How can future developments address them?

8 responses to “Visualizing the Semantic Web

  1. 1. Tagging is a form of metadata because they provide a potential source of metadata by using keyword searches. They are not ontologies which arte attempts to more carefully define parts of the data world and to allow mappings and interactions between data held in different formats. The definition of a tag is a loose and implicit process where ambiguity might well remain. The inferential process applied to ontologies is logic based and uses operations such as join. The inferential process used on tags is statistical in nature and employs technologies such as clustering.
    2. They will inform them that the semantic web uses documents for humans to read to one that include data and information for computers to manipulate. It would let them recruit the right data to a particular context. For example, opening a calendar and seeing business meetings, travel arrangements, etc.
    3. OWL is Web Ontology Language which is implicated to enable efficient representation of ontologies that are also amenable to decision procedures. It checks an ontology to see whether it’s logically consistent or to determine whether a particular concept falls within the ontology. For this discussion it allows ontologies to be distributed across systems.

    1. The implications of searching and matching just become much more personal and wide open. By using potential hash tags and ontologies, users can share and view information easily and faster than before. They wont have to search as much and could potentially use just a hash tag.
    2. The challenges I can see are ones that become private. If users begin to use private information and put it on the internet, how can they hide it from the “web of data” as a whole? If the web is going to be one giant source, how can there be privacy?
    3. I honestly don’t know how they can be addressed. I feel like the internet now I one giant source for all and feel that it doesn’t need to be changed because privacy is important and if the semantic web is used I don’t see how privacy will be kept.

  2. Metadata is defined as the data that provides information about one or more aspects of the data. For example, a picture on the web has metadata that describes the size of the image, the resolution of the image, etc. Creating hash tags on Twitter or Instagram is a form of metadata because the user is describing the image or post with tags that define that post and place it into a category. Web 2.0 is a form of social software because with this version of the web, people can interact all over the world. One site doesn’t have to follow another site, but one user can make any comment to another user on a blog or post and communicate ideas through Web 2.0. Web 2.0 allows users to interact through social networks, blogs, and other forums.
    Assumptions about social behavior will inform the future development of the semantic web because the new web will be able to know what the user wants to search before the search even happens based on recent search history, conversations on social network, and online stores shopped at. New technology will be created to predict what interests the user before the user even knows himself.
    The OWL is Web Ontology Language. The OWL Web Ontology Language is designed for use by applications that need to process the content of information instead of just presenting information to humans. OWL facilitates greater machine interpretability of Web content than that supported by XML, RDF, and RDF Schema (RDF-S) by providing additional expressive power along with a formal semantics. (
    Dating websites are becoming more and more popular in this new day in age when everything is done online. The implications for algorithmic search and matching include people needing to meet the person face to face, no matter how long they browse on the Internet. Just because they browse on the internet, the scientific evidence fails to provide proof that “principles underlying current mathematical matching algorithms – similarity and complementarity – cannot achieve any notable level of success in fostering long-term romantic compatibility” (Finkel, 2). Challenges of online dating are that you are set up with potential matches based on your answers to simple questions, but just because you have those answers in common, does not necessarily mean you will be compatible when you meet face to face. Face to face communication is crucial in a healthy relationship. I think online dating is only good for introductions and from then on, the match needs to be made based on face-to-face social interactions. Future developments can address these problems by making the questions more personalized based on things that are scientifically proven to connect people. For example, how people react in certain situations might make them more compatible if they have the same answer.

  3. 1. Tagging on the social web is a form of metadata because it links information from one source to another. Metadata allows data to be shared more easily and describes the files that are linked to it by size, depth, length, or even a description. Tagging on sites like Instagram and Twitter allows users to share this information. This is possible through the categories that tagging creates. These sites use a hashtag to create categories that photos, links, and descriptions are filed under for others searching these tags to view. Web 2.0 is a form of social software because it allows for applications to connect users to information that best suits their searches, personality, and informational goals. It allows people with the same goals to connect to one another on an informational level, to exchange common forms of data.
    2. Recent debates in how to use the semantic web will discusses different ways that users are able to use it in everyday life. The semantic web allows people to share data and information much easier. Users will be able to more easily share important dates, documents, photographs, etc. People will essentially be able to connect with one another without any personal and direct communication.
    3. OWL is the web ontology language that enables efficient representation of ontologies that are also amenable to decision procedures. OWL checks ontology to see whether it’s logically consistent or to determine whether a particular concept falls within the ontology. This relates to our topic in discussion because it connects with ontology which is language standards that help us frame the semantic web. OWL helps regulate and determine what language standards are common across the web.

    1. There are many implications for online dating discussed in this reading. One form of matching in online dating is algorithmic search and matching. is the first dating site to use the first algorithm search and matching strategy. The main implication of algorithmic searching is that any amount of searching on a database will not ensure that you are selecting the best match for you. Users do not stand a better chance at finding a more appropriate match whether they are searching for two minutes or 20 minutes. Some of the implications included in using these algorithms are that they are not valid by scientific standards. This shows that algorithmic matches cannot achieve any long-term notable relationship success.
    2. Personally I do not think that online dating is the best choice in finding a successful relationship. I agree with the reading that a person is unable to select an appropriate match without actually meeting in person. I also believe that online dating could possibly make users more superficial, they are looking at the image of the person as well as how their interests sound on paper. I also think an implication of online dating is that it is taking away from face to face communication.
    3. Future developments can address these issues by creating more ways for users to connect with one another online as opposed to just a biography and a photograph. Online match making companies can have users answer a series of more personal questions based on their beliefs and life values. I think these types of questions would better connect people than questions of your interests or hobbies. I also think that sites could include video footage of a person rather than just a photo. This will also help users better get to know one another before deciding if they would like to meet.

  4. 1. Tagging on the social web is a form of metadata because a tag is a link to information or other people who are also tagging and talking about the same thing. Metadata is data about data, which is kind of ambiguous, so anything that is data talking about something else, such as tagging, is metadata. Web 2.0 is a form of social software because it is all about interconnectedness. People are kept together, even if they do not mean to be or want to be at that time.
    2. Recent debates will inform the future development of the semantic web by stating what is allowed. Items relating to copyrights and other personal information will be discussed and information that we are searching for may become easier or harder to find. The discussion will allow people to change the way they connect online.
    3. The OWL is Web Ontology Language and it is important because they are the language standards that are deployed on the web. This relates to the discussion because OWL is important to the existence of the semantic web and how interactions occur.

    1. The implications for algorithmic search and matching is that people will be matched with those who are within their liking. People can find others based off of interests and wants in life.
    2. I see challenges based off a person not truly knowing what they want, or missing an opportunity to meet someone face to face. Many people may forget about being otherwise social if they can rely on the internet to find them love.
    3. Future developments are in the works, such as eHarmony’s singles meet ups. Events like these allow people to get out with a group and socialize without putting the focus upon meeting the perfect person that night.

  5. 1.) Metadata is often defined as data about data. Tagging on the social web is a form of metadata. When items are tagged on the social web, they can be linked to several different items and lead to different destinations through keyword searches. Web 2.0 is a form of social software because of the emergence of ‘Semantic Apps’ as a force.

    2.) The challenge for semantic web, as stated in the article above is to develop shared ontologies or language standards, that can be deployed on the Web. It is argued that ontologies that will help us frame the semantic web will allow users to define parts of the data world and show interactions between the different forms of data.

    3.)The OWL Web Ontology Language is an international standard for
    encoding and exchanging ontologies and is designed to support the Semantic Web (Heflin). For this discussion it means exactly what the definition states. It provides a standard for encoding and exchanging ontologies, which was highly discussed in the article, and it is deigned to support the Semantic Web, the main topic of discussion.

    1.) Algorithmic search and matching is an implication pertaining to online dating that is highly discussed. Because of these methods, online dating is becoming easier and easier. Instead of sitting down and searching through lists and lists of people, the user can search certain keywords and get matched with the best fit for them. This is extremely convenient and less time consuming.

    2.) Challenges I do see with online dating in general as well as search and matching is that people can lie. People can lie about their age, race, even put different pictures up. What one person may be searching for and coming across, might be absolute fraud.

    3.) Future developments that could be used to help that challenge could include built in skype systems/webcams on the actual dating site. This would allow the couple to interact before going on an actual face to face date so they know what they are getting themselves into.

  6. 1. Metadata is data that describes and gives more information about other data. Tagging on the social web is a form of metadata because the tags add more data to what is being posted. Tags on social media are often used to describe what is going on in the post or to sum it up in a few words. They can also be tracked as a whole, so all of the posts with the same tags are together and this adds more information to the post as well. Web 2.0 is a form of social software because it allows for more interaction between people.
    2. In the future the semantic web will be able to bring up search results based on past searches and selections on the computer. It will help make each web experience more personal and make the results of searches etc. more relevant to the user.
    3. OWL is web ontology language. In relation to this discussion this is a language that authors ontologies or knowledge bases. It is used to represent knowledge about things on the semantic web.

    1. The implications for algorithmic search and matching is that it is accurate and will help you to find your soul mate. It implies that you can give a few facts about yourself and they will be able to find your perfect match based on that.
    2. The challenges that I see are the same challenges that were pointed out in the article. There is not way that the compatibility of two people can be completely known without more information being known and them meeting in person.
    3. Future developments can address these issues by asking more in depth questions in order to better match the people. The future of the web may be able to help with this because it could take into account your searches etc. and then take that into account on dating websites.

  7. When you tag something, you leave your footprint on your post forever. Metadata is pretty much information about data. It’s just an analyzed set of numbers and/or words, depends on the data. Tagging is a general description of whatever the author posts. It’s a form of metadata because it is describing whatever the author puts on the web. is a perfect example of applications that uses tagging. Web 2.0 is a form of social software because users are able to connect with anyone wherever they are. Connections will and can be made via hashtags, different social media sites, and search engines.
    Soon, the web will be smarter than us, as we saw on Jeopardy (IBM Watson). And copyright rules will be more and more difficult to interpret these laws. The semantic web will constantly be growing, and there will never be a limit to its technology potential. Google already has some technology, it completes what you’re typing by the popularity of what has already been searched. Other technologies could be used in restaurants or maybe gas stations. Restaurants could suggest what’s popular or what you’ve already ordered in previous trips. Gas stations will know what type of gas you want just as you swipe your card.
    OWL is Web Ontology Language and that is designed for use by applications that need to process the content of information instead of just presenting information to humans ( OWL is the language that the Web 2.0 uses. For this discussion, it incorporates each platform and gives ontologies accessibility over each.

    What if people solely rely on the algorithmic searches and matches? Dating sites are just a sorry excuse for people who can’t talk to people in public. Dating sites for people who just moved are understandable, but don’t put all your eggs in one basket and stay connected to the internet.
    Challenges I see are people who could lie to answer the baseline questions, and they could get matched with someone not compatible. The show/term Catfish could always happen too. I would not trust dating web sites.
    Future developments could include webcam implementations. Users could be required to post a ten second video about themselves. And these videos could be on their dating page. This should be used so that people are definitely the people who they say they are. Developments of dating web sites such as Match, Christian Mingle, and Farmers Only might open the door for better matches. Better baseline questions, pages, and links to other social media sites will allow users to get a better feeling of who they really are.

  8. 1. Tagging is a huge part of the social web. It allows you to search basically anything you want and also share different tags. Twitter and Facebook are the two apps that come to my mind when I think of tagging. On twitter, you can tag people in posts or retweet them. There are other options too but those are the main ones. Facebook, you can really do the same thing. These two sites are very similar in the way that it is an easy way to look someone up. Web 2.0 is a form of social software because the new software gives you that possibility for all of these social networking sites. If there was never Web 2.0 none of these new advances in technology would have happened. We would still be in the “simple” era. It is a form of social software because it gives everyone the opportunity to explore the Web like never before.

    2. I believe that recent debates (assumptions about social behavior, copyright rules) will inform the future of the semantic Web in a compelling way. People will continue to be aware of these rules and respect them. The semantic Web needs to be a place where it is a friendly digital environment where most parts of it are safe. It will be focused on being able to open any document that you want anywhere on the Web. One click will be able to open a document right away without any waiting involved. In, the future I think the Web will even become easier and more user friendly.

    3. OWL is Web Ontology Language. It is related to this discussion because it is all about how data is shared. “OWL’s core idea is to enable efficient representation of ontologies that are also amenable to decision procedures,” (The Semantic Web Revisited). OWL is very important because it recognizes the language we use on the Web.

    1. I believe the implications for algorithmic search and matching are positive and negative. My opinion is that the best way to really get to know someone is face to face. A computer can match two people up depending on their interests but there is still that possibility it could not work. However, on the other spectrum the people could hit it off and were glad they used dating sites. In the end, it is all about if you like the person and not if the computer thinks you are compatible. Another issue is that the algorithmic search is so fast that how can it know how compatible you really are with that person anyway.

    2. I see many challenges. Personally, I don’t think dating websites are really for me. I am more of a going out with the person and getting to know them rather than doing that online. The challenges I see is that the searches are wrong and two people go out who are totally incompatible. The biggest challenge is that I do not think a computer can know how right two people are for each other. I would not go by an algorithmic search for who I would date.

    3. Future developments can be addressed by looking at online dating sites data and seeing what they can improve. It would be beneficial if the search could do a little more than just match two people up by basic information on their profiles. If it can delve into more such as the person’s personality then I think dating sites would be more successful. This way the people getting set up know they are definitely compatible in some subjects that are important to them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s