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Programming the Semantic Web

The Semantic Web, and related technologies, looms large on the horizon. It’s business impact will be felt on all companies that in some ways organization information – that is, everyone.

I have blogged before about Tim Berner-Lee’s Open Data initiative, which leverages Semantic Web technologies. This post is for Programmers who are looking to understand how to develop software that leverage Semantic Web technologies.

Programming the SemWeb

There are a number of Semantic Web books out on the market that discuss Semantic Web technologies from a Researcher’s, or academic’s, point-of-view. My favorite is Semantic Web for the Working Ontologist.

However, until recently, there have been relatively few books that discuss the Semantic Web from a software development point-of-view.

The first books I came across to address the topic were not exactly Semantic Web focused, but instead were on the related topic of Collective Intelligence – see Programming Collective Intelligence and Collective Intelligence in Action. These books focus on developing capabilities such as Product Rating Engines (like you find in Amazon), Clustering algorithms, and Web Search algorithms.

Recently, however, a couple books have appeared on the market focusing specifically on developing software using Semantic Web technologies (e.g. RDF, OWL, SPARQL, etc.) – specificaly Semantic Web Programming and Programming the Semantic Web. One of the authors of these books, Toby Segaran, also has an interesting book out lately called Beautiful Data: The Stories Behind Elegant Data Solutions. I believe this book focuses on the “data” side of the Semantic Web. The books “in the mail”, so I’ll find out soon enough.

In Summary …

The Semantic Web, as mentioned above, looms large on the horizon of the future Web. If you’re a developer, now’s a great time to begin experimenting with the technologies.


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