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Skip to 0 minutes and 3 secondsBARRY NORTON: Everything assumes, even pre-web, that we're talking about an internet context. Two things that it's useful to know about that is that's not just a communication mechanism that gets data point to point, but that every host on the internet, the way that the internet protocol works, is by the assignment of internet protocol numbers. In most of the existing internet, which is my Internet Protocol Version 4, where you have four numbers chained together that will identify a machine, that space is expanded more recently with Internet Protocol Version 6. But fundamentally, that's what's happening. You have each host has a number by which it can be addressed.

Skip to 0 minutes and 50 secondsAnd then throughout the infrastructure, there are routers that understand different routes to communicate data between those hosts. And it's no surprise, it's no big news to say the use of this protocol to connect machines has increased very rapidly over the decades. In recent years, it's really third generation or fourth generation mobile telephony networks that have increased that rapidly. And we'll also touch on that when it comes to the motivating scenario-- how one can make mobile interfaces and how people have out of linked data technology.

Skip to 1 minute and 32 secondsNow while the internet has existed for all that time and has proven useful on a technical level to connect machines, the real opening up of internet technology to the general public was when an interface was put on top called the World Wide Web. This is now how most people transact most of their interest and business on the internet.

Skip to 2 minutes and 0 secondsWhile there's a massive amount of information available out there on the web, which is increased even more by participation, by production of content, by pretty much anyone that has an internet log on-- so we look at sites like Wikipedia where anyone can contribute, where anyone can edit-- on the other hand, the technologies that are used there are very oriented towards human intelligence. So if you want to find something, if you want to understand something, and especially the motivation here, if you want to extract and aggregate information that you can find at different points on the web, it's very much a manual task. It involves a lot of human understanding using the original web technologies.

Skip to 2 minutes and 48 secondsSo if we find various sources out there on the web want to find where the relevant documents are to pull out content and combine them in meaningful ways, a better alternative than just doing that with human power on an individual basis is to move to something that has been called the web of data, where we use semantic technologies to explicitly expose what the data associated with content on the web is.

'Towards a Web of Data'

Watch Dr Barry Norton introduce some of the technologies that underpin ‘Linked Data’.


In the next few steps we cover the following:

  • The technologies behind the Internet, the Web and ‘Web 2.0’.

  • How Web 2.0 is developing into ‘Web 3.0’, and what ontologies are.

After covering the technologies, we move on to the important standards that have helped to implement these.

  • First, we cover standard protocols for the Web: HTTP, URIs and XML.

  • We end this activity by covering RDF, RDFS and OWL, which are the standards for the underlying technologies of the Semantic Web.


This work is a derivative of ‘Using Linked Data Effectively’ by The Open University (2014) and licensed under CC by 4.0 International Licence adapted and used by the University of Southampton. http://www.euclid-project.eu/

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This video is from the free online course:

Introduction to Linked Data and the Semantic Web

University of Southampton

Course highlights Get a taste of this course before you join:

  • Welcome to the course
    Welcome to the course
    video

    Watch Dr Elena Simperl & Dr Barry Norton explain how this short course on linked data & the semantic web can help you use this technology in your work

  • Developing real world applications
    Developing real world applications
    video

    Watch Dr Barry Norton describing some real world applications that have Linked Data as their underlying technology.

  • Welcome to Week 2
    Welcome to Week 2
    video

    Watch Dr Barry Norton explain what you will learn about SPARQL (the query language) on this course and what you will be practicing.