A Portal for the Semantic Web

SemanticWeb.org is an information and community portal dedicated to the next generation web -- a virtual wonderland where we'll be able to do all kinds of cool things, including finding information with nearly effortless ease.

"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."

Today, the web is largely a human-machine system. If you want something on the web, you must type an URL, open a bookmark, use a search engine, and so on.

The semantic web, by contrast, will enable meaningful machine-machine interactions. Berners-Lee envisions a future where everything on the web will both thoroughly defined, and linked in a way that significantly reduces the need for human intervention.

This opens up all kinds of exciting possibilities. You'll likely have a federation of agents working round the clock on your behalf, doing everything from crawling the web to create your own "personal" search engine based on your interests and needs, to negotiating with other agents for goods and services.

Of course, this future is still under construction, with numerous groups around the world doing research, proposing standards, and building components of the semantic web.

SemanticWeb.org is an information and community portal dedicated to the next generation web. It features an extensive set of links to information about the semantic web, as well as pointers to research groups and projects.

Some of the more useful sections of the portal spotlight links to events, projects, semantic web companies, tools and knowledge sources, emerging standards and industrial deployments. There is also a good list of articles and other publications about the semantic web, ranging from a basic overview to detailed technical standards proposals.

SemanticWeb.org is currently operated by three research groups: The Onto-Agents and Scalable Knowledge Composition (SKC) Research Group at Stanford University, the Ontobroker-Group at the University of Karlsruhe and the Protégé Research Group at Stanford University.

If you're interested in seeing a glimpse of the future of the web, SemanticWeb.org offers an excellent vantage point.


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.

On the Road to the Semantic Web
SearchDay, Mar. 20, 2002
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 Languages of the Semantic Web
SearchDay, June 24, 2002
Today's simplistic web languages are giving way to richer, more robust symbolic systems that transcend information storage and retrieval and allow web pages to express meaning.

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About the author

Chris Sherman is a frequent contributor to several information industry journals. He's written several books, including The McGraw-Hill CD ROM Handbook and The Invisible Web: Uncovering Information Sources Search Engines Can't See, co-authored with Gary Price. Chris has written about search and search engines since 1994, when he developed online searching tutorials for several clients. From 1998 to 2001, he was About.com's Web Search Guide.