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Query languages go hand-in-hand with databases. If the Semantic Web is viewed as a global database, then it is easy to understand why one would need a query language for that data. SPARQL is the query language for the Semantic Web.
...connections can be established in restricted areas (‘intranet of things’) or made publicly accessible (‘Internet of things’).”
The Semantic Web: An Introduction
Internet Governance forum poster - W3C
Introducing SPARQL: Querying the Semantic Web
UK Government call for Open Data Developers to help develop the semantic web as quickly as possible.
With over 1000 existing data sets, from 7 departments (brought together in re-useable form for the first time) and community resources, we want developers to work with us to use the data to create great applications..
Australia - Linking a public government dataset into the semantic web with RDF
Check out how the use of semantic web technologies are being put to use by the government of your country.
On the 10th June 2009, the UK Office of the Prime Minister announced that Tim Berners-Lee will “help drive opening of access to Government data on the web over the coming months….In April 2009, Tim Berners-Lee engaged similarly with the US government…” Here is the Internet Governance forum poster from W3C.
At this point in time, much RDF and Semantic Web processing is done using a Python program called CWM or "Closed World Machine".
Screen Scraping, and Forms:
For the Semantic Web to reach its full potential, many people would need to start publishing data as RDF. Where is this information going to come from? A lot of it can be derived from many data publications that exist today, using a process called "screen scraping". Screen scraping is the act of literally getting the data from a source into a more manageable form (i.e. RDF) using whatever means come to hand. Two useful tools for screen scraping are XSLT (an XML transformations language), and RegExps (in Perl, Python, and so on).
Notation3: RDF Made Easy:
XML RDF can be rather difficult, but there are simpler teaching forms of RDF. One of these is called "Notation3", and was developed by Tim Berners-Lee. There is some documentation covering N3, including a specification, and a Primer.
However, screen scraping is often a tedious solution, so another way to approach it is to build proper RDF systems that take input from the user and then store it straight away in RDF. Data such as you may enter when signing up for a new mail account, buying some CDs online, or searching for a used car can all be stored as RDF and then used on the Semantic Web.