W3C

World Wide Web Consortium Launches W3C European Semantic Tour

European Commission sponsors Semantic Web infrastructure presentations from W3C Members and Team in Rome, London, Munich, Athens and Brussels

Contact Americas, Australia --
Janet Daly, <janet@w3.org>, +1.617.253.5884 or +1.617.253.2613
Contact Europe --
Marie-Claire Forgue, <mcf@w3.org>, +33.492.38.75.94
Contact Asia --
Saeko Takeuchi <saeko@w3.org>, +81.466.49.1170

(also available in Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian and Japanese)


http://www.w3.org/ -- 10 June 2003 -- The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) launches its Semantic Tour today, bringing presentations and demonstrations of Semantic Web technologies to public audiences across Europe. The W3C Semantic Tour consists of a series of five one-day events beginning today in Rome, Italy, and ending on 24 June 2003 in Brussels, Belgium. Representatives of W3C Member organizations and the W3C Team explain how Semantic Web technologies help to create richer, more usable data on the existing Web. The use of these technical standards enables more effective discovery, automation, integration, and reuse of data across applications.

The Semantic Web Extends the Current Web

For the Web to reach its full potential, it must evolve into a Semantic Web, providing a universally accessible platform that allows data to be shared and processed by automated tools as well as by people. The Semantic Web, first a vision expressed by Tim Berners-Lee at the Web's inception, is now best known as an initiative of the World Wide Web Consortium. Berners-Lee wrote an early Roadmap for the Semantic Web in 1998, and it continues to be a good place to learn the architecture on which the W3C Semantic Web Activity is based.

The W3C Semantic Web Activity, launched in 2001, brings together experts and leaders in areas such as metadata, ontologies, and the Web, and encourages both the design of specifications and the open, collaborative development of technology.

The Semantic Web is an extension of the current Web that will allow you to find, share, and combine information more easily. It is designed to be a universal medium for the exchange of data, and allows vocabulary semantics to be defined and reused by any interested person or user community, making it cost-effective for people to record their knowledge, and share with others.

To facilitate these goals, a set of interoperable specifications are under development. W3C's Semantic Web work starts with a model called the Resource Description Framework (RDF), which consists of the basic Model and Syntax for descriptions and a way to assemble descriptive vocabularies, called RDF Schema. The next layer above, OWL - the Web Ontology Language, provides a way to decribe relationships between different vocabularies. These languages all build on the foundation of URIs, XML, and XML namespaces.

W3C Semantic Events Scheduled for Five Regions

The events themselves have been organized by ERCIM, the European Host of W3C, and five of the European W3C Offices (Benelux, Germany and Austria, Greece, Italy, and United Kingdom and Ireland).

The timetable and locations of the events are as follows:

Each event consists of a series of talks about W3C Semantic Web work, applications and test cases. These presentations are done by one to two W3C Team members and invited speakers representing the local community. All events are free and open to the public, but attendees must register. Please contact the local organizers for details.

European Commission funding encourages W3C outreach via its Regional Offices

Last year's W3C Interop Tour focused on the range of W3C technologies, and showing how they facilitate interoperability on the World Wide Web. This June's W3C Semantic Tour focuses on Semantic Web technologies, an area of increasing interest within the Web community. Both these tours exist thanks to funding from the European Commission in the form of the QUESTION-HOW project.

The tour benefits from another IST funded project - the W3C's Semantic Web Advanced Development work in Europe, also called the SWAD-Europe project. Practical demonstrations show the Semantic Web in action, addressing problems in areas such as: tracking documents and translations, sitemaps, news channel syndication, classification, and annotations.

About the World Wide Web Consortium [W3C]

The W3C was created to lead the Web to its full potential by developing common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its interoperability. It is an international industry consortium jointly run by the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science (MIT LCS) in the USA, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) headquartered in France and Keio University in Japan. Services provided by the Consortium include: a repository of information about the World Wide Web for developers and users, and various prototype and sample applications to demonstrate use of new technology. To date, over 410 organizations are Members of the Consortium. For more information see http://www.w3.org/