Image via WikipediaThere is some interesting news about the focusing of standards for the semantic web by the W3C today. The semantic web is the idea that by combining different kinds of metadata, it will be easier to find, share and combine information on the internet. According to Wikipedia: "At its core, the semantic web comprises a set of design principles, collaborative working groups, and a variety of enabling technologies. Some elements of the semantic web are expressed as prospective future possibilities that are yet to be implemented or realized. Other elements of the semantic web are expressed in formal specifications."
One interesting way to learn more about the semantic web is to take a look under the hood at webpages that use semantic data.
Uldis Bojars and Sergio Fernandez at the SIOC project have written a plug-in for Firefox that allows you to do just that:
"Semantic Radar is a semantic metadata detector for Mozilla Firefox.
Available at Mozilla Add-ons site. It is a browser extension which inspects web pages for links to Semantic Web metadata and informs about presence of it by showing an icon in browser's status bar. Currently it supports RDF autodiscovery (SIOC, FOAF, DOAP and any type) and RDFa metadata detection.
New: Semantic Radar can now ping the Semantic Web Ping Service when metadata are detected. This allows for a community based discovery of the Semantic Web data."Right now the semantic web is a hodge-podge of many different kinds of data and systems. That is changing some with SKOS - (Simple Knowlege Organization System) which was announced by W3C as the standard.