Tim Berners-Lee just posted his thoughts about the importance of Linked Data on the Semantic Web. Linked data support is built-into Twine. All the data in Twine is accessible as open-standard RDF and OWL today and will be accessible to other applications via several API’s including SPARQL. You can learn more about Twine’s support for Linked Data and see some examples here.
In all this Semantic Web news, though, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. The benefit of the Semantic Web is that data may be re-used in ways unexpected by the original publisher. That is the value added. So when a Semantic Web start-up either feeds data to others who reuse it in interesting ways, or itself uses data produced by others, then we start to see the value of each bit increased through the network effect.
So if you are a VC funder or a journalist and some project is being sold to you as a Semantic Web project, ask how it gets extra re-use of data, by people who would not normally have access to it, or in ways for which it was not originally designed. Does it use standards? Is it available in RDF? Is there a SPARQL server?
Twine provides RDF and supports SPARQL (although while we are in beta we have not opened our SPARQL API yet, but we will…). At the same time Twine also protects privacy by only providing its data according to permissions. Apps can only get Twine data they permission to see such as their own data or their owner’s or users’s data, data that has been shared with them, or public data in Twine.
Twine is also designed to consume external Linked Data via it’s APIs. Twine will be able to consume external RDF and OWL ontologies, as a means to enable other applications and users to extend its functionality and add new data to it.