Combining Semantic Web and Web 2.0 Technologies to Support Cultural Applications for Web 3.0

Combining Semantic Web and Web 2.0 Technologies to Support Cultural Applications for Web 3.0

Tzanetos Pomonis (University of Patras, Greece), Dimitrios A. Koutsomitropoulos (University of Patras, Greece), Sotiris P. Christodoulou (University of Patras, Greece) and Theodore Papatheodorou (University of Patras, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-044-0.ch002
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The aim of this work is to help cultural web application developers to benefit from the latest technological achievements in Web research. The authors introduce a 3-tier architecture that combines Web 2.0 principles, especially those that focus on usability, community and collaboration, with the powerful Semantic Web infrastructure, which facilitates the information sharing among applications. Moreover, they present a development methodology, based on this architecture, especially tailored for the cultural heritage domain. Cultural developers can exploit this architecture and methodology in order to construct web2.0-powered cultural applications with rich-content and responsive user-interface. Furthermore, they outline some indicative applications in order to illustrate the features of the proposed architecture and prove that it can be applied today and support modern cultural web applications.
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A modern cultural web application, because of its specific nature, has to comply, not only with the specific information-structuring and retrieval requirements of the cultural heritage domain, but also with the innovations of web technologies in general.

As every human conceivable domain, cultural heritage is hard to be accurately modeled. In addition and due to its nature, cultural heritage information use to be hidden in libraries and museum archives, and when available on-line is usually poorly or not at all structured. In such a misty setting, the solution can derive from well known semantic web techniques.

The Semantic Web, outlined by Berners-Lee et al. (2001), has become a revolutionary technological approach for organizing and exchanging information in a cross-application dimension. Strongly supported by World Wide Web Consortium and powered by heavy academic and enterprise research, Semantic Web can demonstrate standardized and well-defined approaches in language description, such as RDF (Manola & Miller, 2004), RDF(S) (Brickley & Guha, 2004) and Web Ontology Language OWL (Smith et al., 2004). We strongly believe that semantics and knowledge-discovery capabilities can play a key role in next generation cultural web applications.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Web 3.0: Web 3.0 is a term used to describe the future of the World Wide Web. Following the introduction of the phrase “Web 2.0” as a description of the recent evolution of the Web, many technologists, journalists, and industry leaders have used the term “Web 3.0” to hypothesize about a future wave of Internet innovation.

Cultural Heritage: Cultural heritage is the legacy of physical and intangible attributes of the past of a group or society that are selected from the past, and inherited, maintained in the present and bestowed for the benefit of future generations. Physical or “tangible cultural heritage” includes buildings and historic places, monuments, artifacts, etc., that are considered worthy of preservation for the future. These include objects significant to the archaeology, architecture, science or technology of a specific culture.

Knowledge System: A knowledge system (a.k.a. knowledge-based system) is a program for extending and/or querying a knowledge base. A knowledge base is a collection of knowledge expressed using some formal knowledge representation language.

Semantic Web: The Semantic Web is an evolving extension of the World Wide Web in which the semantics of information and services on the web is defined, making it possible for the web to understand and satisfy the requests of people and machines to use the web content. It derives from W3C director Tim Berners-Lee’s vision of the Web as a universal medium for data, information, and knowledge exchange.

Ontology: An ontology is a formal representation of a set of concepts within a domain and the relationships between those concepts. It is used to reason about the properties of that domain, and may be used to define the domain. Ontologies are used as a form of knowledge representation about the world or some part of it.

Web 2.0: Web 2.0 is a term describing the trend in the use of World Wide Web technology and web design that aims to enhance creativity, information sharing, and, most notably, collaboration among users.

3-Tier Architecture: 3-tier architecture is a client-server architecture in which the user interface, functional process logic (“business rules”), computer data storage and data access are developed and maintained as independent modules, most often on separate platforms.

Mash-up: A mash-up is a web application that combines data from more than one source into a single integrated tool.

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