Linked Data and the future of the Web

On 4 Februray 2009 at TED Sir Tim Berners-Lee unfolded his ideas about the past, present and future of the Web.

First of all, it is very interesting to see that his initial work on the Web, back then in 1989 when he wrote the first client and server, it was a project on the side after a paper he wrote. His boss at CERN considered it ‘vague but interesting’, according to his notes on the paper. As he mentions, that’s how innovation happens.

Then, it’s interesting to see where is his focus at the moment. As he ask the audience to repeat like a mantra: Raw Data Now! Explaining the difference between documents and data, he says that the important thing to have is Linked Data (see here and here). And there are three basic rules:

  • use http for all kind of conceptual things
  • fetch data in standard format
  • data is relationships

As he explains ‘the more things you have connected the more powerful it is’, something that it’s an inherent property of networks (cf. Linked by Albert-Laszló Barabasi). Therefore, to get out of the silos where everyone seems to be now (basically by not sharing raw data in a universal, standarized format), we have to have access to raw data (now!), do our little bits (e.g. extending these systems by adding data we know) and ask about our right to have access to the data.

Finally, it is about connecting data together.

The video