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Semantic Web

Published on Apr 02, 2024


In the beginning, there was no Web. The Web began as a concept of Tim Berners- Lee, who worked for CERN, the European organization for physics research. CERN's technical staff urgently needed to share documents located on their many computers.

Berners-Lee had previously built several systems to do that, and with this background he conceived the World Wide Web.

The design had a relatively simple technical basis, which helped the technology take hold and gain critical mass. Berners-Lee wanted anyone to be able to put information on a computer and make that information accessible to anyone else, anywhere. He hoped that eventually, machines would also be able to use information on the Web. Ultimately, he thought, this would allow powerful and effective human-computer- human collaboration.

What is the Semantic Web?

The word semantic implies meaning. For the Semantic Web, semantic indicates that the meaning of data on the Web can be discovered not just by people, but also by computers. The phrase the Semantic Web stands for a vision in which computers software's as well as people can find, read, understand, and use data over the World Wide Web to accomplish useful goals for users.

Of course, we already use software to accomplish things on the Web, but the distinction lies in the words we use. People surf the Web, buy things on web sites, work their way through search pages, read the labels on hyperlinks, and decide which links to follow. It would be much more efficient and less time-consuming if a person could launch a process that would then proceed on its own, perhaps checking with the person from time to time as the work progressed. The business of the Semantic Web is to bring such capabilities into widespread use


" Indexing and retrieving information

" Meta data

" Annotation

" The Web as a large, interoperable database

" Machine retrieval of data

" Web-based services

" Discovery of services

" Intelligent software agents


The Semantic Web was thought up by Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the WWW, URIs, HTTP, and HTML. There is a dedicated team of people at the World Wide Web consortium (W3C) working to improve, extend and standardize the system, and many languages, publications, tools and so on have already been developed.

The World Wide Web has certain design features that make it different from earlier hyperlink experiments. These features will play an important role in the design of the Semantic Web. The Web is not the whole Internet, and it would be possible to develop many capabilities of the Semantic Web using other means besides the World Wide Web. But because the Web is so widespread, and because it's basic operations are relatively simple, most of the technologies being contemplated for the Semantic Web are based on the current Web, sometimes with extensions.

The Web is designed around resources, standardized addressing of those resources (Uniform Resource Locators and Uniform Resource Indicators), and a small, widely understood set of commands. It is also designed to operate over very large and complex networks in a decentralized way. Let us look at each of these design features.

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