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semantic web


The semantic web, as defined by the creator of the web, Tim Berners-Lee, is “a network of data, in a way like a global database” (Berners-Lee, 1998). To elaborate, Mr. Berners-Lee explains in an interview conducted by IDG Now, data is expressed on computers as files associated with applications that specifically deal with information, an example would be data in calendars, banking systems , spreadsheets and database applications. . When viewing a web page, the data is not clearly defined and is not associated with any of the applications normally found on computers. The semantic web will allow data to interact and connect; It will bring a common data format for all applications, both for databases and for web pages (Moon, 1999). The semantic web is not about building an artificial intelligence system that allows computers to understand what humans type on web pages; rather, it is an attempt to make web pages more understandable and well-defined in order to support automatic data extraction from web content (Berners-Lee, 1998).


The rise of the web and the way HTML took off was driven by how society needed to grow, from Internet chat to file transfers to high-level communities through blogs and wikis. HTML was not limited to web content, the knowledge base and help files adapted the language as a format for documenting software applications and providing training material. The revolution in Internet technologies allowed companies like Google to index pages; a thought that was a long way off, says Tim Berners-Lee in his lecture at MIT. Web services have evolved to pave the way for distributed information and modular programming that enables interoperability between sites. Through XML, data from one site can be used by another using the common protocols and standards supported by both (Berners-Lee, 1998). XML defines schemas that deal with data fields, what is required is a system that can tell the computer what kind of information (data) it can derive from a page (Moon, 1999). With Web 3.0, one site will provide data that can be browsed and pulled from multiple sites, this is a result of the fact that the semantic web data model is closely related to a relational database where data records share common fields that connect them (Berners-Lee, 1998).

The solution provided to support the semantic web is in the form of metadata that describes the data contained in web pages. Resource Description Framework (RDF) is a foundation for managing metadata; it is the land that computers can use to exchange and interact with applications on the Web (W3C RFC, 1999). Applications for RDF include digital libraries, online catalogs, and indexing systems that are generally associated with the content and content relationship models implemented in most web pages. With RDF, data within commercial portals will be parsed and identified as domain-transparent resources, properties, or declarations; furthermore, the specifications will be merged with other documents to comprise a framework of classes. Classes organized as a hierarchy that includes a schema that can be reused as metadata definitions in conjunction with multiple platforms. Resources created in this hierarchy can be identified by a resource identifier (URI), which allows the system to recognize a document delivered to a machine with this identification and trigger it to search for and find similar data (Berners-Lee, 1998).


The semantic web may be the solution to overcome the limitations of current information management systems to find and extract data from unorganized resources. RDF is intended to describe any data regardless of its character, location, source or type, the concept of URI is richer to uniquely identify any object on the web (Berners-Lee, 1998). The pillars of the Semantic Web are the common standards and protocols that are the basis for the representation of knowledge; HTML, RDF, the Data Language (OWL) Resource Description Web Ontology Language that describes to the machine what’s going on, plus RDF1, which is a query language to make machine-to-machine queries much more easy, they will emerge and collaborate to bring more to the web and more intelligent programs that will bring the Internet closer (Cleave, 2004).

The current research and implementation of the Abilene network and the high-performance Next Generation Internet (NGI) Internet 2 backbone linking leading universities and research labs in the US is a good foundation for what can make the semantic web and represents the perfect platform. for grid computing, digital libraries, virtual laboratories and distance learning (Abilene, Internet2). Internet2 or I2 was developed by a group of universities in 1996 providing improved connectivity standards to reach 10 gbps (gigabits per second). With more than 227 connected universities and libraries, network-based applications and experimental programs can run on this high-bandwidth connection network that is powered by the latest Gigabit Ethernet technology and IP version 6 protocol (Reardon, 2004). . Semantic web standards can be the foundation of the material and data distributed on this network, providing the best testing platform to explore the full potential and what can be achieved.


Tim Berners-Lee believes that with Web 3.0 we can succeed and great things can happen, but the infrastructure needs to be built, privacy and security laws need to be reviewed and enforced, and the web needs to stay open for researchers to allow continuous updating and development. The semantic web will take off when individuals realize the need to work in data processing, and think about collaborating their data with business and government information (Moon, 1999).


  1. Berners-Lee, Tim. 1998. Semantic Web Roadmap. W3C Team. (October 14, 1998) DesignIssues/Semantic (accessed July 16, 2007)
  2. Moon, Peter. 1999. The future of the Web seen by its creator. IT World IDG Now (July 7, 1999) (accessed July 14, 2007)
  3. W3C RFCs. 1999. Resource Description Framework (RDF) Model and Syntax Specification. W3 Consortium (January 5, 1999) (accessed July 20, 2007)
  4. Cleave, Kenith Van. 2004. Practical experience of the Regis University database. Regis University. (November 14, 2004) (accessed July 16, 2007)
  5. Abilene, Internet2. (accessed July 17, 2007)
  6. Reardon, Margaret. 2004. Internet2: 2004 and beyond. CNET, News (August 24, 2004) (accessed July 19, 2007)


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