Semantic Web technology is slowly changing the way people use the Internet, and Semtech 2012 is a prime showcase for the best minds in linked data, enterprise solutions and interactive Web experiences.

That's because semantic technology is approaching widestream adoption, and Google's recent launch of the Knowledge Graph platform is one such manifestation of the technology's mainstream appeal. 

Media, Research, Databasing Benefit

At day three of the Semtech 2012 conference in San Francisco, companies such as Google, Microsoft, NASA, the BBC and the New York Times gathered to present their visions on Web standards of the future. Specifically, many presenters focused on how they are using linked data to better locate, relate and translate content for the best possible Web experience. and RDF Data is one of the main incubators of semantic standards based on the RDF data that is being embedded in more Web pages. Using this structured data, websites can be easier to use, more responsive and more relevant to people's needs. Companies that wish to take advantage of semantic technology can use the site to discover the vocabularies they need to include on their Web pages to take advantage of natural language search. 

So far, one of the main roadblocks to implementing the use of structured data such as RDF (unlike HTML) is the difficulty in integrating it with tradtiional CMS platforms based on Linux, MySQL, Apache and php, for example.

Learning Opportunities

Case Study: BBC

Jem Rayfield was on hand at Semtech 2012 to introduce the BBC's new 2012 Summer Olympics website, which takes advantage of RDF data and a dynamic semantic publishing (DSP) architecture. Rayfield is s senior technical architect for the BBC Future Technology division, and the company expects to get 10 million page views a day to the 10,000 Web pages on the Olympic site, he said. So, this will no doubt be the largest semantic technology implementation yet for a media site. 


Germany-based fluid Operations built BBC's authoring and publishing workflow system for the 2012 Olympics website.

BBC used a somewhat similar system for its 2010 World Cup Web site, but now is adding systems by fluid Operations on the content workflow side, and Ontotext on the database side. Ontotext has long been a leader in semantic technology, and is Semtech 2012's biggest sponsor. The 2012 Olympics Web site will use linked data to allow a handful of journalists to populate thousands of Web pages with dynamic content. Rayfield added the new system will be used on other parts of BBC's website, such as politics and food, next year. Let us know in the comments if you went to Semtech this year and what was your most memorable moment.