A decade ago the inventor of the World-Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, introduced the concept of the 'Semantic Web'. His vision was (and is), that if the information on the Web would follow some basic rules, it would be much easier to deduce meaning from it all, allowing computers to 'connect the dots' and help all of us maximise the use of our collective knowledge.



Relevance for broadcasters


The technology supporting this vision is in full development. It sometimes uses difficult names, such as 'ontology', but if you look a bit deeper, the concepts are not that difficult. EBU Metadata expert Jean-Pierre Evain and Dr Tobias Bürger have now published an EBU Technical Review article summarising the state of the art in this field and its relevance to broadcasters. After all, broadcasters are prime information sources and would benefit from a more widely spread use of what they create.



Media under-represented in 'Web of data'


The authors of the article conclude that, despite efforts by various organisations, multimedia content is still underrepresented in the 'Web of Data'. This is partly due to a lack of integrated means to describe multimedia content for use on the Web. There are many metadata standards, but they often are very divergent, leading to difficulties when implementing global (e.g. search) solutions. Moving to higher-level, 'semantic technologies' should help address this problem. Jean-Pierre Evain and Tobias Bürger have co-developed the RDF/OWL ontology for the W3C MAWG. The EBU has further contributed to this by developing providing mappings of the 'Ontology for Media Resources' to its EBUCore specification, to TV-Anytime and to IPTC's NewsML-G2. The W3C MAWG class model is based on the EBU CCDM (Class Conceptual Data Model).



Current work in this domain includes using RDFa (Resourch Description Framework) in HTML5 webpages, which is a promising approach that would allow the harvesting of a lot of upcoming annotated audio-visual material. For more information on this and related work, contact: Jean-Pierre Evain (EBU) .

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