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Annotea shared bookmarks:
Semantic Web at your fingertips

In the real, physical world, we often label things to know what they contain or mark pages in the documents with different types of bookmarks or flags to find them easily later. We may even add yellow post-it notes as annotations to pages to write longer comments. When we use these annotations and bookmarks we create information about objects. The type and color of the label also often tells us what kind of information we create.

In computers, the objects and the information are expressed with data, so when we use the annotations and bookmarks in computers, we create data about data or as we call it: metadata. In Semantic Web users attach information to objects with meaningful labels, so the types of the used labels are as important as the objects and the attached information. Furthermore, objects and labels are identified with an unambiguous Web addresses called URIs, so we always know if we talk about the same label or the same object.

With Annotea shared bookmark it is possible to easily create Semantic Web bookmarks and categories that organize information on the Web, and integrate them from different sources and share them with others. It is also possible to use a familiar concept and with help from the teenage granddaughter make a connection from that concept to a corresponding teenage concept so that it becomes easier to talk with teenagers. Concepts from all grandparents can be collected to create a dictionary. It is also possible to collect the bookmarks from the woodworking hobby group and follow them to find more interesting information. It is also possible to use google with all the woodworking group bookmarks when searching that information and get the first the results bookmarked with others, or use collection of woodworking bookmarks as a profile and go to the Amazon.com and look for similar information. In research, common use of shared bookmarks can create a network effect leading to new discoveries.

Semantic Web adds exactness to information so than it can be used not only for the purpose it was first created but for other purposes as well and easily merge it with other information. Annotea shared bookmarks brings Semantic Web close to users so that in spite of the exactness users can still function in ways that are familiar to them and learn new concepts in their own pace.




Marja-Riitta Koivunen
Email: marja@annotea.org