Ivan’s private site

February 25, 2007

Semantic Web and Digital Libraries Conference

Filed under: Semantic Web,Work Related — Ivan Herman @ 16:42

I just came back from a conference on Semantic Web and Digital Libraries (ICSD 2007) in Bangalore, India. Incidentally, this was also the first international event on Semantic Web in India altogether.

The idea of bringing together two communities that so clearly have things to say to one another is great. Obviously, it is also difficult; communities speak different languages, have different aspirations, goals, or traditions. There were some interesting talks (hopefully the talks will be on-line soon). Johannes Keizer from the FAO (UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization) talked about how the FAO and its partners use Semantic Web techniques for a whole range of quite interesting things (publishing site of their own journal using RDFS and with queries, integrating meteorological data with agricultural information on a pretty large scale, definition of some major taxonomies in SKOS, etc). I also quite liked the presentation of Lars Svensson, from the German National Library; I will remember his remark: “Libraries begin to realize that they are not alone”… Although there were some glitches in the programme (there were some papers that clearly did not have anything to do with that “bridge building”) all in all, it was an interesting event. Hopefully, it will help some of the participants to continue work in this area. It is clear that these two communities have a lot to say to another; as an example, the library community is probably much better in defining useful and good URI schemes for identifying, say, publications, musical compositions, etc. These are usually missing for the time being 😦

My main issue is, however, whether this conference was a one time shot or the beginning of a series. If there is no continuation, then the initiative may not have a long-lasting effect after all. And that would be a pity. It would really be good if somebody picked up the ball and turned this into some sort of a series…

A separate issue that I tried to provoke on different fora (meetings, panel, etc.) is that the Indian Semantic Web community should be much more forthcoming than it is today. It is not my first visit to India, and I know that there are lots of really good people working on Semantic Web topics, but all in isolation. Not only their voice is rarely heard on international fora, but they do not even have contacts among one another. Maybe the organizers of this event (the Documentation and Training Centre of the Indian Statistical Institute) and/or the W3C India Office will be able to pull up some sort of a local forum. That would be good…

(Lars  Svensson sent a comment on this post telling me that his remark “Libraries begin to realize that they are not alone” was actually said by Jürgen Krause, in his plenary speech at the conference, and Lars only reused it. Duly noted, apologies to Jürgen if he reads these lines…)


  1. Nice to hear that you attended that meeting – it was a little to far to go for me; even though the organizers “invited” me to do presentation on JeromeDL. I was wondering about the quality of this event, and eventually decided together with more senior people from DERI that we should wait and see.
    I hope there will be a follow up, and then we will surely go – by all means – JeromeDL is the Semantic Digital Library, and my tutorial on Semantic Digital Libraries (and soon the book) are just yet another activities that should support this movement.
    It is nice to hear that DL community finally acknowledged our presence, however, I am still not sure if we are ready for that. My cooperation with this community proved that this is not an easy task, but I have learned and I am still learning a lot from them. I guess, until we will be able to understand what has been achieved so far, and address problems of the DL community, we are sentenced for more misunderstanding.

    Comment by Sebastian Kruk — February 28, 2007 @ 23:14

  2. A web page

    student of Ranganathan

    containing the full text of the article:

    Faceted Indexing Based System for Organizing and
    Accessing Internet Resources (Published in
    “Knowledge Organization” is available for viewing


    You are invited to view it.



    PS: I studied and taught at DRTC, Bangalore.

    Comment by F.J.Devadason — March 4, 2007 @ 22:38

  3. Glad you liked the presentation.

    Just a comment on the quote “libraries are not alone”: Actually, I took this from Jürgen Krause, who said this in his plenary speech the day before, so I can’t really claim the honour for it (and I think I attributed it to him; if not, now it be done: credit where credit is due).

    Comment by Lars G. Svensson — March 21, 2007 @ 12:13

  4. thank’s for this reference. because, I am must finishing my studies. THANK’S

    Comment by kabonfootprint — August 15, 2008 @ 2:31

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