On the Road to the Semantic Web

A new language called OWL will help power automated tools for the next generation web, offering advanced services such as more accurate Web search, intelligent software agents and knowledge management.

"The Semantic Web is an extension of the current web in which information is given well-defined meaning, better enabling computers and people to work in cooperation," wrote Tim Berners-Lee, James Hendler and Ora Lassila in their Scientific American article "The Semantic Web."

Part of the task of giving information well-defined meaning is to create an ontology language, a common set of terms that are used to describe and represent objects on the web. The World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) OWL (Ontology Web Language) seeks to do just this.

What kinds of good things will OWL help enable? In the W3C's new requirements paper describing the objectives, goals and requirements of OWL, a few examples provide an intriguing insight into how the Semantic Web will enhance our online experience.

Though hidden behind a stuffy academic title, the content of "Requirements for a Web Ontology Language" offers a tantalizing glimpse of the future as the Semantic web inches closer to realization.

Requirements for a Web Ontology Language

Semantic Web Activity
News, information, and links regarding the W3C's efforts to implement the Semantic Web.

The Semantic Web
A terrific overview of the Semantic Web and how it will change our online lives, from core W3C team members Tim Berners-Lee, James Hendler and Ora Lassila.

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