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A Scientist and the Web


the chemical semantic web has arrived! just do it NOW

I have been overwhelmed with excitement about the new maturity of semantic technology and RDF data that is available for our construction of the chemical semantic web. Note that I used to write “Chemical Semantic Web” with the assumption that it had to use the whole paraphernalia of the Semantic Web. But – as a newly discovered “scruffy” – I now know that we only need lightweight – very lightweight – approaches and this is usually labelled as the “lowercase semantic web”. So, from now on, I’ll probably write “csw”.

The vision is simple – make everything a URI and use RDF to support searches using the modern generation of tools. We’ve had several sessions – some under the theme “Linking Data” The first contained tutorial material; the second – at which TBL and others demonstrated examples and vision blew away all my scepticism.
Tim’s message was simple – don’t hang around – just do it NOW! Unfortunately I don’t have any material to hand and will have to rely on memory. But I have no doubt that we have the chance to transform the world of chemical information within months. And remember that we can now start using machines to help.

There’s a huge amount of tools! and I am still struggling to know which to use. And some of the terminology (from ontoworld):

A SPARQL endpoint is a conformant SPARQL protocol service as defined in the SPROT specification. A SPARQL endpoint enables users (human or other) to query a knowledge base via the SPARQL language. Results are typically returned in one or more machine-processable formats. Therefore, a SPARQL endpoint is mostly conceived as a machine-friendly interface towards a knowledge base. Both the formulation of the queries and the human-readable presentation of the results should typically be implemented by the calling software, and not be done manually by human users.

So from what I can see

  • we find a URI (derefenceable) linked to a set of RDF that we are interested in (e.g. “chempedia”)
  • point it at an endpoint (e.g. tabulator)

and then issue a query.

I’m probably wrong, but I’ll know more tomorrow. At least I am doing it NOW!

2 Responses to “the chemical semantic web has arrived! just do it NOW”

  1. [...] These two session very much excited me.  At previous WWW conferences Semantic Web sessions had focussed on the underlying technologies (RDF, OWL, etc.). Now, it seems, Semantic Web applications are starting to be developed which can demonstrate the power of ‘linked data’. And, over lunch, I had discussions with Peter Murray-Rust, Tom Heath and others on the application of linked data in scientific applications. This led to Peter’s posting on  the chemical semantic web has arrived! just do it NOW – May 11th, 2007.  [...]

  2. [...] And I’ve just noticed a post by Peter Murray-Rust who, back in May 2007, told us that the chemical semantic web has arrived! just do it NOW. [...]

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