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nearby: RdfCalendar, SemanticWebDeveloperMap

Every day, every week, dozens of conferences, workshops and other events are announced using W3C's many public mailing lists.

For developers and researchers interested in Web technology issues, these can be both useful and frustrating. It is hard to keep track of everything that is going on, and time consuming to manually convert event announcements into calendar records for personal and group use.

This Announce-O-Matic project is an experimental effort to explore the automation of such tasks. It should be possible to offer some guidelines for event announcements to support automatic extraction of summaries from email messages, either through a machine-readable attachment (eg. ical) to the announcment email, or through conventions for writing event descriptions in a form that can be interpreted by both humans and machines.


Our first step should be to determine what is 'out there', in terms of existing behaviour and usage for one or more target communities / mailing lists. As a Semantic Web development project, it makes sense to trial this on the Semantic Web community via the RDF Interest Group lists. In addition we should probably choose at least one other forum to ensure wider applicability (perhaps SVG?).

In many cases we have a cluster of related mailing lists focussed on aspects of a single technology. For example with RDF and Semantic Web, we have several lists, each of which may receive event announcements of various kinds.

RDF-related lists:

// (edit me) loosely-related : [1] Genetic Algorithms list often has semweb-related CFPs etc.

Questions to answer:

this is a rough list of research issues, probably need refining before we spend time on answering them...

  • What kinds of event announcements do we see on these lists?
  • Are these announcements typically/often/always crossposted?
  • How 'on topic' are they? eg. specifically w.r.t. RDF versus being 'in general area of...'
  • Are they almost all associated with a specific location/area? (ie. physical site of a workshop) see GeoInfo
  • Is our RdfCalendar work adequate to represent them?
  • Do any workshops, conferences etc make detailed (or un-detailed!) iCalendar representations available?
  • What examples do we have of...
    • best practice in marking up times/locations/content of a conference
    • aggregators for 'what's on' information for the research community
    • markup indicating who is participating in the conference (see PathsCross demo / use case)
    • other distractions from our core mission of marking up the when/where/what of an event
  • What types of event are announced? Conferences? Workshops? W3C-specific meetings?
    • Any other generalisations that come to mind from looking at the data?

related work

rough notes from danbri/caz

  • survey of event aggregators; esp concerned with 'schema' ie vocabulary, terms, fields, properties etc that they use and provide user interface for.
kinds of fields useful for aggregation (from ski-cal)
kinds of fields we have in icalendar:
other fdields: foaf, geo, etc... 
what to do?
 - find as many meetup-ish sites as possible
   - public, free-at-least-in-part, sites for event sharing
   - look at their ui
   - sumarise fields
   - attention to:
     - how time, place etc characterrised
       - zipcode? do they assume USA, UK etc.
       - do they assume english language?


who is working on this project?

  • dan brickley (as RDF IG chair and hence 'customer')
  • caroline meek (ILRT/swad-e), survey of events
  • libby miller (ILRT/swad-e), rdf calendaring