Leipzig is one of Germany’s Semantic Web hotspots. From May 5-6, 2010 the annual Semantic Web Day provides the opportunity to catch up with latest developments especially in the domain of Linked Data and the foundation of the German chapter of the Open Knowledge Foundation. Organizer Sören Auer gave us some background information.
From May 5 – 6, 2010 the 3rd Semantic Web Day in Leipzig will take place. What will be this year’s topics? Who should attend?
The Semantic Web Day is targeting IT people, software developers, decision makers and users interested in learning about the potential of semantic technologies. The language during the event is German, so primarily Austrians, Swiss and Germans will attend. Beside semantic technologies a particular focus of this years event is open data in governments, public administrations and science. Although the programme is not yet finalized we already compiled an interesting number of talks and presentations including talks about the open biodiversity database Fishbase, the European Digital Library Europeana, a Linked Data project of the German Umweltbundesamt, use case presentations in the pharma, publishing and telecommunication industries and many more (cf. http://aksw.org/LSWT). Also, in addition to AKSW the Topic Maps Lab and the Web Data Integration Labs from Universität Leipzig be present at LSWT.
One of the highlights of this year`s Semantic Web Day is the official institutionalization of the German Chapter of the Open Knowledge Foundation. How did this come around? What does this mean for the OKF as a whole?
OKFN started to work in 2006 and since then managed to sucessfully complete a number of projects facilitating open knowledge. In particular, the Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network (CKAN), the OKCon conference series, the open knowledge definition and recently OKFN’s involvement in the launch of data.gov.uk are prominent examples of OKFN’s successful work. However, many of the OKFN activities were primarily driven by an active group of volunteers in the UK. With the official launch of the German OKFN branch we will strengthen the international dimension of OKFN’s work. Especially for Germany, where data privacy and security are perceived to be most important, raising awareness for enabling open, standards compliant access to public information will be an important target of OKFN’s activities.
The InFAI has become one of the hotspots in Semantic Web development in Germany over the past few years. What are you working on at the moment? What are the most interesting research and development aspects for the near future?
From our point of view establishing a network effect around the publishing and use of linked data is the most important research and development goal for the near future. We just completed a first draft and implementations of a semantic enabled pingback method (http://aksw.org/Projects/SemanticPingBack), which applies a similar peer notification mechanism to linked data endpoints as it is widely deployed on the blogosphere. Other important research issues we are tackling with our partners are closing the performance gap between RDF and relational data management, increasing the coherence and quality of linked data and the provisioning of adaptive user interfaces for authoring and maintaining information on the data web.
About Sören Auer
Dr. Sören Auer leads the research group Agile Knowledge Engineering and Semantic Web (AKSW) at University of Leipzig. His research interests include Semantic Web technologies, knowledge representation, engineering and management, agile methodologies as well as databases and information systems. Sören is founder (respectively co-founder) of several high-impact research and community projects such as the Wikipedia semantification project DBpedia, the open-source innovation platform Cofundos.org or the social Semantic Web toolkit OntoWiki. Sören is author of over 50 peer-reviewed scientific publications, co-organiser of several workshops, chair of the Social Semantic Web conference 2007 and I-Semantics 2008, serves as an expert for industry, the European Commission, the W3C and is member of the advisory board of the Open Knowledge Foundation.