SWAD-Europe EU IST logo

Themes: Community Building

The SWAD-Europe workplan describes the structure of the overall project. This page provides the current state of the Semantic Web community building work which principally falls under the workpackage 3. This area of the SWAD-Europe project encompasses several different strands, and includes ten developer workshops held by the project; online presence and scheduled IRC discussions; tshirt and postcard distribution. The work has been focussed around the Semantic Web Interest Group at W3C, which is chaired by Dan Brickley, also the Director of SWAD-Europe.

The aim of this section of SWAD-Europe has been:

Our target groups are:

More detailed discussion of SWAD-Europe's dissemination aims and target groups may be found in the Dissemination and use plan and in the Reassessment of target audiences (additional requested deliverable).

One lesson from the project is that it is both important and rewarding to provide an environment where members of the larger community that surrounds W3C can interact and collaboratively explore the practical issues around Web technology. The formal work of the W3C is based on small, highly focussed Working Groups where individuals commit a lot of time to creating new Web standards. SWAD-Europe's primary contribution was to help create a supportive background environment for such work, by allowing a much larger number of geographically-dispersed individuals to participate (through email, IRC, workshops and the Web) in the Semantic Web initiative. The project was, in the Semantic Web scene, unique in its emphasis of the practical and Web aspects of "Semantic Web" for a Web developer audience. The support that SWAD-Europe provided to the RDF and Semantic Web Interest Group was an important exploratory step towards a model for wider participation in Web standardisation work, showing that W3C's successful Working Group-led approach can be complimented by a broader participation model which allows individual researchers and implementors to make real contributions to the deployment of existing standards and to the creation of new ones. The challenge for the future is to work towards a Web in which all European research efforts contribute to the communities which underpin the evolution of Web standards.


See the SWAD-Europe talks page.


Dublin Core and RDF Florence, Italy, 16-17 October 2002 (D3.4)

This workshop was divided into two parts. The first was a short general introduction to the project, its goals and methodology. The second part consisted of a specific technical developers workshop, focusing on the issues of combining free text searching and metadata-based discovery. The major outcome was gathering, and where possible answering, frequently asked questions about best practices for using RDF.

Last updated:

EARL / Image Annotation Bristol, UK, 24-26 June 2002 (D3.6)

This workshop brought together developers and users who were in many cases working simultaneously on two areas: the EARL vocabulary for recording evaluations of conformance; and annotation of images. The workshop was co-hosted by the W3C's Evaluation and Repair Tools Working Group, who are developing EARL, and held in Bristol over the three days 24, 25 and 26 June 2002. The first two days were devoted to the topic of EARL, and the final day to the topic of image annotation. Participants were mostly from Europe, with some participation from Australia and remote participation from the USA.

Last updated:

Semantic Web Calendaring Bristol, UK, 9 Octiber 2004 (D3.7)

The aims of this workshops were firstly and principally to present arguments and usecases why an RDF version of the standard would be more useful than the iCalendar format (which is presented in a text based format called 'mime-directory' (RFC 2425)). Many usecases were presented, all focusing on the need to combine event-based information with other sorts of information - for example about people, documents and places. A second aim was to consider how we might decide on a single format for RDF calendaring information. An interesting proposal was put forward by Dan Connolly: to take the RDF calendar vocabularies people were actually using and use them to create a schema. This work has contiuned through the last two years. Thirdly, the workshop aimed to bring together developers, and enable them to demonstrate applications that they had been using or creating. Software presentations included demonstrations of Apple's iCal, Mozilla Calendar, Retsina Calendar Agent, and demonstrations of calendar tools in Javascript, Perl, Python and Java.

Last updated:

Geographic Information Management Virtual workshop, 16, 30 April, 28 May 2003 (D3.9)

The third SWAD-Europe workshop was held as a series of virtual sessions, discussing the use of geographic information in the Semantic Web. It brought together developers from a variety of organisations and from the United States and Japan as well as Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom including individuals who would not have been able to participate in a more traditional physical workshop. It led to a number of development projects, brought existing developers in contact, and led to the creation or use of ongoing fora (a Wiki page and a mailing list) for discussion of the topic.

Last updated:

Semantic Web Storage and Retrieval Amsterdam, Netherlands, 15-16 November 2004 (D3.11)

This workshop aimed to discuss:

The workshop participants were mostly technical developers and researchers from a variety of organisations mostly in industry and education from Greece, UK, Slovenija, The Netherlands and Italy in Europe and from the United States. Most of the participants had practical experience in building and deploying semantic web software and applications. The developers of the two main RDF Java APIs were present, along with the authors of significant APIs in perl, C, python and prolog (all of these were primarily created in Europe). The two main themes of the workshop were storing semantic web data and retrieving it and the agenda was structured to cover different aspects of both of those items. Other important topics also emerged such as query languages and network access, both related to retrieval and issues with implementing OWL and RDF Schema.

Last updated:

Image Description and Annotation Madrid, Spain, 7-8 June 2004 (D3.12)

The image annotation workshop had the following outcomes:

Last updated:

Introduction to the Semantic Web ( Spanish, English) Marid, Spain, 13 June 2004 (D3.13)

This workshop brought together Spanish speakers interested in developing Semantic Web technologies. It was held entirely in Spanish. The workshop was hosted by LaRed.es, with additional support from Barrapunto.com. Attendees came from all over Spain, from the four target communities (open-source and commercial developers, academia and the government sector). In addition the discussion was noted live on IRC, so further participation from Spain and Argentina was made possible. The workshop had the following outcomes:

Last updated:

Metadata in a multilingual world Copenhagen, Denmark, 15-16 July 2004 (D3.14)

This workshop brought together developers and users working on the multilingual application of metadata and the semantic web. It discussed the problems and issues invovled in making the Web truly world wide, and the impact of this and the development of a more semantically rich web on each other. Some tools were presented, some areas of success, and many areas requiring significant further work were identified. Work on glossary tools was directly advanced in preparation for and as a result of this workshop. The workshop was jointly organised with CEN-ISSS MMI-DC ensuring rapid flow of information to other relevant European organisations.

Last updated:

Semantic Web in Latin America ( Spanish, English), Buenos Aires, Argentina 21-22 August 2004 (additional deliverable)

This workshop brought together Spanish speakers (the great majority from Latin America, but also from Spain, and the USA) interested in developing Semantic Web technologies. It was held entirely in Spanish. The workshop was hosted by the Departamento de Diseo de Sistemas of the Universidad Argentina John F. Kennedy (in Spanish), in Buenos Aires. Attendees came from the four target communities with about half being from academia, and the rest divided between open-source and commercial developers and the government sector). In addition the discussion was noted live on IRC, so further participation of a more global character was made possible.

Last updated:

Geospatial information, Budapest, 4-5 October 2004 (additional deliverable)

Last updated:

Final workshop: Friend of a Friend, Social Networking and the Semantic Web, Galway, 1-2 September 2004 (D3.16)

Social networking is a recent topic gaining much interest and publicity. Social networking sites are community sites where users can maintain an online network of friends or associates for social or business purposes: whether looking for a job, reconnecting with old friends, moving to a new area, or dating. Most of these sites are based on a centralised architecture: all users' descriptions are stored in one big database. There is, however, growing user and business interest in portability between such sites, and for sophisticated "single sign-on" mechanisms that reduce the need for data re-entry, while allowing users to manifest different aspects of themselves in different contexts. FOAF-based import/export allows such sites to address user demand for control of "their" data; however, many deployment, privacy, authentication and engineering issues have not yet been fully explored. To what extent do mechanisms such as FOAF change the environment they attempt to describe? How can the visibility of personal data be restricted to certain audiences? How can businesses make money when their customers can migrate to new services with increased ease. This workshop on FOAF, social networking and the Semantic Web provides a first chance to discuss the unusual combination of perspectives - academic and scientific, engineering, social, legal and business - drawn together by these trends. The workshop aims to bring together for the first time researchers interested in the effects, analysis and application of social networks on the (Semantic) Web as well as practitioners building applications and infrastructure. The workshop will also try to give a snapshot of current developments, as well as setting a roadmap for the future of both FOAF and social networking - especially in the context of the Semantic Web.

main site, Papers, wiki pages.

Last updated: 2004-09-30