Open + Connected

Session Details

An Argument for Semantics—Why Developers Should Give a Hoot about OWL

TPR9 Technical: Propeller Hats Required Track



In the push to integrate tagging and other forms of Web 2.0 technologies into applications, developers often overlook the value of adding semantics, or contextual meaning, directly to information that powers websites and applications. The addition of microformats to a site's coding can further the exchange of semantic information—such as contact information for people and events—but for the most part websites and applications are still composed of largely non-semantic text organized in large blocks of HTML.

While everyone agrees that HTML isn't going away anytime soon, several Web standards have arisen over the last few years to help developers store, serve, and distribute information with ever-increasing levels of semantics and meaning. The current pinnacle of the Semantic Web pyramid is OWL—the W3C's Web Ontology Language. In this talk I will describe the basics of OWL and how it can be used to power the next generation of smart, data-enabled Web applications.


Brian Panulla
Director, Extreme Events Laboratory, Pennsylvania State University

Brian is the director of the Extreme Events Laboratory, part of the Center for Network-Centric Cognition and Information Fusion (NC2IF) at Penn State University.

He has been leading technical projects in higher education for 15 years. His interests include software development management, information architecture, intelligent systems, and the visualization and sonification of information for enhanced decision making.