It is nice to see when very different communities reuse one another’s work, ie, when the fragmentation of research and development into different fields is, at least a little bit, reduced… I ran into a paper Gilson & al on “From Web data to visualization via ontology mapping” in a journal (the Computer Graphics Forum) that is usually not read by Semantic Web experts. So it may be worth drawing their attention on it… Instead of trying to paraphrase the content of the paper, why not simply reproduce the abstract:
In this paper, we propose a novel approach for automatic generation of visualizations from domain-specific data available on the web. We describe a general system pipeline that combines ontology mapping and probabilistic reasoning techniques. With this approach, a web page is first mapped to a Domain Ontology, which stores the semantics of a specific subject domain (e.g., music charts). The Domain Ontology is then mapped to one or more Visual Representation Ontologies, each of which captures the semantics of a visualization style (e.g., tree maps). To enable the mapping between these two ontologies, we establish a Semantic Bridging Ontology, which specifies the appropriateness of each semantic bridge. Finally each Visual Representation Ontology is mapped to a visualization using an external visualization toolkit. Using this approach, we have developed a prototype software tool, SemViz, as a realisation of this approach. By interfacing its Visual Representation Ontologies with public domain software such as ILOG Discovery and Prefuse, SemViz is able to generate appropriate visualizations automatically from a large collection of popular web pages for music charts without prior knowledge of these web pages.
Worth reading. And thanks to my friend David Duce to talk to me about it…
 O. Gilson et al., “FromWeb Data to Visualization via Ontology Mapping,” Computer Graphics Forum, vol. 27, Number 3, 2008 (the paper is also available on-line). The paper was originally presented at the joint Eurographics/IEEE Symposium on Visualization, where it won the best paper award.