Elias Torres, a senior software engineer at IBM and a member of several W3C working groups, gives us an overview of the Semantic Web and how RDF and SPARQL are set to become the tools of choice when extracting data from the World Wide Web. In an interview, hosted by Phil Windley, Torres discusses what has happened to this technology in the past, where it is hopefully going in the near future, and what you can do today to take advantage of it.
Resource Description Framework (RDF) is a language specification for representing information about resources on the Web. Often referred to as "the triples," RDF relates data objects to one another using a three part syntax of subject, predicate, and object. For example, a car's paint color could be represented as Vehicle.Color.Red. RDF can effectively link distributed and disparate data sources which is why many developers are excited to use it to enhance Tim Berners-Lee's vision of the Semantic Web.
The RDF Query Language or SPARQL, builds on the ubiquitous Structured Query Language (SQL) and includes the syntax to query data found on web sites or any structured data source which publishes an RDF compliant endpoint. The language is relatively easy to use and several tool kits are already available to integrate it into Java, Perl, Python, PHP, and MS .NET.
Elias Torres, is a senior software engineer at IBM's Advanced Internet Technologies division, who's research focus is on the Semantic Web and social networking software. He has been with IBM for approximately nine years and has worked on a number of solutions including LDAP, Instant Messaging, online meetings, and corporate blogging. He's an active member of the Apache Software Foundation and is part of the RDF Data Access and SPARQL working groups at the World Wide Web Consortium. He is a contributing developer to the open source RDFLib, a python library for working with RDF data sources. Elias is currently working towards a masters degree in computer science at Harvard University.
This free podcast is from our Technometria with Phil Windley series.
Photo: Elias Torres