Andreas Blumauer

Insights into Nature’s Data Publishing Portal

In recent years, Nature has adopted linked data technologies on a broader scale. Andreas Blumauer was intrigued to discover more about the strategy and technologies behind. He had the opportunity to talk with Michele Pasin and Tony Hammond who are the architects of Nature’s data publishing portal.


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Thomas Thurner

Linked Data at the BBC: Connecting Content around the Things that matter to Audiences

cache_23146737This year SEMANTiCS conference presents some brilliant speakers. As there is Sofia Angeletou with her keynote on the 2nd generation Linked Data Strategy at the BBC.

Quote: “The vision of semantic publishing in the BBC has shifted from supporting high profile events to connecting the BBC’s content around things that matter to the audience. To this end, we have increased the application of linked data to domains other than sports such as news, education and music with the intention that the content we produce can be reused and discovered through a multitude of channels.”

In her keynote, Sofia will outline the technological and cultural factors that have influenced the BBC’s adoption of linked data. A talk reflecting the early assumptions BBC made their effects on the development of the platform and they way BBC are addressing them now.
A talk people who are working in the media and publishing industry should not miss and one of several highlights the completely re-brushed SEMANTiCS conference will provide to you.

Register for SEMANTiCS 2014 in Leipzig / Germany.


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Andreas Blumauer

rNews and its benefits for publishers

Last Wednesday at the Open House event of the Semantic Web Company in Vienna, Evan Sandhaus, Lead Semantic Architect at NY Times gave a comprehensive and entertaining introduction to rNews and its potential benefits for publishers.

Evan Sandhaus (f.l.t.r) busy preparing his talk in the kitchen of SWC, together with Andreas Blumauer (SWC) and Leo Sauermann (Gnowsis). Mr. Sandhaus in action.

rNews is a RDFa vocabulary, which is basically a carefully selected subset of the very rich IPTC vocabulary and some additional elements that came up during the standardization process. It is now available in version 1.0 and – according to Evan – actively supported by

As showed above the data model of rNews is really simple and centered around two classes: the NewsItem and the Concept. This deliberate simplicity is a major advancement compared to standards like NewsML (whose complexity probably prohibited its critical uptake among the news industry). But due to the functional extensions attributed to RDFa, rNews might also be considered more complex than hNews, the microformat equivalent issued by the IPTC in 2009.

Evan mentioned three scenarios that might drive the uptake of rNews for the benefit of news publishers:

1) Better news search

rNews allows you to explicate and differentiate various documents elements like, title, author, text body, picture etc., thus giving the publisher better control of what to expose for indexers and web crawlers. This might not just improve the display of rich snippets in the search results of Google and other search engines, but also allow automated population of faceted search and metadata based similarity search.

2) Better ad placement

As rNews can be applied to any kind of news-relevant media irrespective of its format (grafics, audio, video, etc.) the metadata can be used to avoid “unfortunate juxtapositions” between editorial content and ads. Hence, media agencies could profit from this additional data by fuelling their matching algorithms and gain better insight into the context specificities of content items.

3) Better analytics

By improving the semantic granularity of a news item this additional information can be used to carry the web analytics beyond the page level and provide a better insight into usage patterns. The additional data can be applied for visualization and exploration purposes i.e. for search engine optimization, sentiment detection and many more.

This is just a small fraction of things rNews could be used for. All in all it is exciting to see that IPTC has finally started to provide publishers with a standard that is relatively easy to implement and help them to overcome the obstacles of existing technologies without disrupting existing publishing workflows. In multi-sided markets like the news industry this might be a crucial success factor!


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Thomas Thurner

Vienna Semantic Web Meetup – the next season

Started mid 2009, Vienna Semantic Web Meetup (VSWM) goes now in it’s third year. Hosted by various partners, from media to culture and from corporate to academic, this regular gathering now counts over 200 members. As it is a good tradition at VSWM, people from abroad are visiting by, giving input and new insights. Also the next season of VSWM will bring this mixture of international connection and informal meeting in putting two upcoming topics onto the agenda.

Digital Identity on the Semantic Web
Thursday, April 7, 2011

While recent developments in ICT make it easier for companies and consumers to reach each other, they can also scatter your personal information more widely, making life easier for criminals. On the other hand public institutions and government agencies are collecting personal data too. So personal data is processed without the consensus (or even the knowledge) of the respective citizen. As we know, leaks in this field may unleash sensible personal data as well. The misuse of personal data can be restricted – this is a challenge to both, the technological and the juridical domain. This meetup takes a look on how Semantic Web Technologies can take over its responsibility in this emerging field.

  • Christof Tschohl (BIM)
    Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Human Rights
  • Mischa Tuffield (Garlik)
    A Standards-based, Open and Privacy-aware Social Web (W3C)

>> read more, and register for free

Portals, Apps and Visualizations for Open Government Data
Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Picking up Keith Andrews suggestion, this is a MeetUp focusing on tools, services and projects dealing with Visualization, Apps-creation and Portals/Catalogs for Open [Government] Data. As this MeetUp is on the eve of Austrians first Open Government Data – Conference (OGD2011) we expect to meet experts ans enthusiasts from Austria and abroad.

  • Keith Andrews (IICM)
    Institute for Information Processing and Computer Supported New Media at Graz University of Technology
  • Andreas Blumauer (SWC)
    Storing, searching, serving Open Government Data – getting an overview on the growing market for open data solutions

>> read more, and register for free