Oh the semantic web. Such romantic and lofty notions are conjured up at even its mere mention. And now, how it sparkles so. I refer, of course, to SPARQL (pronounced "sparkle") the new query technology released by the World Wide Web Consortium (WC3). When we think of the Semantic Web today, we tend to refer to the addition of software and metadata to our current Web 2.0 implementations that will allow the Web to not only find what we want but understand it as well.
Considered to be a new standard for opening up data on the Semantic Web - SPARQL puts the focus squarely on the search and not the database technologies or the types of data formats being used behind the scenes to store the data.
Whereas more traditional query technologies like SQL and XQuery were designed for queries limited to a single product, format, type of information, or local data store, SPARQL shines because it's designed for Web use and can enable queries over distributed data sources, independent of format. Not only is this easier and apt to provide greater results, it's cheaper too.
With 14 known implementations, expect to see SPARQL gleaming the Web 2.0 cube of data and mingling well with other Semantic Web resources. Ultimately, of course, the Semantic Web will be used to integrate lots and lots of databases to hone in on just the information a user needs beyond their wildest dreams.