Visualizing the Semantic Web

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Tony Rook
Tony Rook's picture
Visualizing the Semantic Web

An article published in the July / August 2007 edition of Bio-ITWorld talks about some of the technologies currently being utilized to visualize the semantic web.

Visualizing the Semantic Web
By Eric K. Neumann

Some of the tools covered in this article are...

EXHIBIT - part of the SIMILE Project

Babel ... also part of the SIMILE Project

Semantic Web Clinical Trials Demo

The Tabulator


My question is what are the pros and cons of each of these semantic technologies?

bgood's picture
Hi Tony,

Hi Tony,

Well they are all designed to do different things. EXHIBIT has been quite popular lately for visualizing fixed sources of semantic web (or other) data. This means that its not like a browser - its more like publishing system for a fixed data store - potentially represented using RDF - the primary language of the semantic web.

When someone talks about "the" semantic web rather tha "a" localized data colelction, they are usually referring to the web of data that does not exist in one fixed source, but is distributed all over the place in the same way that the current web is. For navigating and displaying this kind of data (which i find much more exciting) the Tabulator is one of the most widely known working examples at the moment. Aside from working fairly well on many cases, one of the reasons for its popularity is that it was created primarily by Tim Berners-Lee - the same guy that came up with the HTML language and basically the whole concept of the world wide web.

Babel is not a visualization tool its a file format coverter.

Fresnel is a language for mapping from RDF to representations for visualization (e.g. tables) Its at the bottom of lots of tools - like IsaViz, Longwell, ARAGO, and HORUS

Hard to really give you pros and cons.. They are just different.

If you had somehting you particularly wanted to get accomplished that related to data integration, interoperability, semantic annotation, etc. I might be able to help point you in the right direction.