What is Meant By The Semantic Web?

The Semantic Web refers to an extension of the Web by the World Wide Web Consortium. The concept of the Semantic Network Model web was formed in the early 1960s by the cognitive scientist Allan M. Collins, psychologist Elizabeth F. Loftus and linguistic M. Ross Quillian. The term was coined by Tim-Berners Lee. It is a framework which allows the sharing of data, the reuse of data.

Semantic Web

The word ‘semantic’ means understanding. The key component of Semantic web technologies is that its primary concern lies with the meaning of the data. This is the main difference between Semantic Web technology and other technologies. Storing, displaying, representing and querying information benefit greatly from this technology.

Factors that make a good Semantic Web application

There are certain factors that make up a good semantic web application. There are three technology standards for the Semantic Web. They are RDF, SPARQL and OWL. There are other standards as well, but these three are the fundamental ones. Let us explore those factors.


RDF stands for Resource Description Framework. It is a family of W3C specifications. It was originally designed as a metadata data model. It uses a number of syntax notations and data serialization formats for its use as conceptual description or modeling information. It is widely used in applications of knowledge management.


SPARQL is an RDF query language or a semantic query language. This language is able to retrieve data and manipulate data which are of the formal Resource Description Framework (RDF). This language allows a query to consist of four kinds of patterns. The patterns are triple patterns, connections, disjunctions and optional patterns.


OWL stands for We Ontology Language. It is a language that belongs to the family of knowledge representation languages. OWL languages are built upon a W3C XML standard for RDF. This language is used for authoring ontologies which are formal ways of representing taxonomy, classification of networks, etc. Thus, it helps in adding more vocabulary to describe properties and class, the relation between classes, equality, cardinality, characteristics of properties and enumerated classes.

Applications of Semantic Web

Semantic web finds applications in many fields. It offers many Semantic web services by enhancing reusability and usefulness of the Web and its resources. Here are some widely used Semantic web applications.

  • Documents are created which are marked up semantic information. Documents can be machine-understandable content. It could be a representation of a set of facts and information. The Semantic web server can be used to mark up documents allowed by common metadata vocabularies and maps between vocabularies. In this way, the agents can use the information the supplied metadata.
  • It offers web-based applications. These services are highly used and are useful to the public search engine. They can also be used for knowledge management associated with an organization.

Business applications

  • Semantic web technology can be used in the integration of information from various sources. It reduces the information overload and greatly improves interval retrieval.
  • Generating topical clusters of related topics that may not seem like they belong to the same category at first glance, e.g. autonomous vacuum robots and drones
  • Semantic web concept decreases the confusion in corporate terminology. A closed group of users in the corporation. Enforces guidelines and the use of semantic annotation. This way the ambiguities in corporate terminology are removed. It also helps in providing decision-making support.

Privacy concerns of Semantic Web

The popularity and the applications of Semantic Web have the concerns of privacy and censorship. For instance, techniques of text analyzing can be easily avoided by using other words like metaphors or images. This calls for advancement in the semantic web technologies which would make it easier for the systems using this technology. There were concerns raised in the “Policy Aware Web” project regarding the semantic web and this is a current topic for research and development.

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