Semantic Web

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Semantic Web is a group of methods and technologies to allow machines to understand the meaning - or "semantics" - of information on the World Wide Web.[1] The term was coined by World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) director Tim Berners-Lee.[2] He defines the Semantic Web as “a web of data that can be processed directly and indirectly by machines.”

While the term "Semantic Web" is not formally defined it is mainly used to describe the model and technologies[3] proposed by the W3C. These technologies include the Resource Description Framework (RDF), a variety of data interchange formats (e.g. RDF/XML, N3, Turtle, N-Triples), and notations such as RDF Schema (RDFS) and the Web Ontology Language (OWL), all of which are intended to provide a formal description of concepts, terms, and relationships within a given knowledge domain.

The key element is that the application in context will try to determine the meaning of the text or other data and then create connections for the user. The evolution of Semantic Web will specifically make possible scenarios that were not otherwise, such as allowing customers to share and utilize computerized applications simultaneously in order to cross reference the time frame of activities with documentation and/or data. According to the original vision, the availability of machine-readable metadata would enable automated agents and other software to access the Web more intelligently. The agents would be able to perform tasks automatically and locate related information on behalf of the user.

Many of the technologies proposed by the W3C already exist and are used in various projects. The Semantic Web as a global vision, however, has remained largely unrealized and its critics have questioned the feasibility of the approach.

In addition other technologies with similar goals, such as microformats, have evolved, which are not always described as "Semantic Web".


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