The Whats and Whys of the Semantic Web

On Wednesday, Nov. 10, Graham Matthews, CEO of OrangeDog, will discuss The Whats and Whys of the Semantic Web.


If you look up a definition of “the semantic web” you will most likely find an acronym soup of technologies (RDF, RDFS, OWL-Lite, OWL-DL, OWL-Full, SPARQL, SWRL, etc), whose purpose is to add “meaning” (i.e. semantics) to the data on the web so that machines can “understand” and “reason with” web content.

From such descriptions you might conclude that the semantic web has something to do with web pages, philosophy and artificial intelligence. You might even be skeptical, thinking that you have heard such promises of machine understanding before, that this is probably all hype.

While such impressions are partly valid (there is a lot of hype around the semantic web!), I hope to convince you in this presentation that the semantic web actually has something useful to offer, especially in the area of data management and organization. I will show in very practical terms what it means to “add meaning to data”, and hence what it means for machines to “understand” data. I will also show how each of the various semantic technologies fulfills a specific and highly constrained role.

Finally, and most importantly, I will discuss how semantic technologies are a fundamentally different approach to data modeling, an approach that offers many advantages over the standard object oriented and relational approaches.

About the Speaker

Graham Matthews is the CEO of OrangeDog, a Thousand Oaks-based semantic software, applications and consulting company. OrangeDog’s fundamental company goal is to improve the ability of clients to interact with their data in ways that they understand. OrangeDog employs semantic technologies to achieve this goal, specifically using ontologies to provide federated data integration and personalized, but automatically generated, user interfaces. OrangeDog’s product suite deploys as a layer over the existing data environment — no systems have to be changed or replaced to employ OrangeDog’s semantic tools.

When:  6:30 – 8:30 PM Wednesday, 10 November 2010
WhereNygreen Room 1, California Lutheran University
See our Meeting Information page for location details, maps, and parking.    Send article as PDF