Jo Walsh is attempting to map
the world. This was the first time I was able to catch a
glimpse at the appeal that RDF hold to so many.
The mental image of hoards of people jotting down notes in the
simplest possible means that could possible work (nodes and arcs),
and letting search engines worry about determining consensus
appeals to me.
Jo Walsh has created a Semantic Web system that appeals quite strongly - a means of using RDF to map...
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What does he gain by using RDF? It seems he could just as easily use a real XML vocabulary and get the same benefits and the benefits of, er, not using RDF.
Bo, first for background, you have to realize that I have been a skeptic of RDF. I spent a fair portion of my career trying to make fine grained information models and top down structure work on top of an Object Oriented database. It has colored my thinking and still sends shivers down my spine.
This being said, I did see a real application in which the problem domain was literally nodes and arcs. This maps very naturally to a vocabulary which was designed for this expressed purpose.
All too often RDF discussions seem to start with "first we define the ontology". This talk was refreshing... instead she seemed to focus only on the absolute minimum level of agreement that one could imagine. Nodes were places. Arc were routes. Perhaps we should capture who recorded the information. Not much more. Start small. See what emerges.
Even with that modest goal, things still need to be reconciled. You would think that latitude and longitude would be relatively unanbiguous quanties. But take a look at any too maps of an area by different companies. Parks and major landmarks are shaped differently and placed in subtlely different locations. This is the real world of data modeling.
Am I an RDF convert? Not by a long shot. RDF certainly isn't the solution to all the worlds problems. And I still believe that ontologies are something you discover, not something you impose. But now I concede that there may be niches for RDF. And that is a start. Perhaps I've underestimated the size of the niche. I'm now a lot more open minded on the subject before I saw Jo's presentation.
OSCOM 3 is history. Lots of articles and blog entries were written. Here is a first batch: OSCOM was a......
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Klein Bottle Walking Tour
I've really enjoyed Jon Udell's explorations into what he refers to as screencasting. As a non-commuter who exhibits several of the symptoms of Adult ADD, and one who has female companionship accompanying him on his daily walks, I'm not really in the...