Google Earth brings GIS to the everyday people

June 30th, 2005

Google Earth is a Java-based GIS application that allows users to find places on the face of the Earth. The users can zoom from space down to street level and combine imagery, 3D geography, maps, and business data to get the total picture in seconds.

I love it! If your computer meets these requirements, give it a try.

Google Earth

It took me 15 mins to find the place where I used live in Hong Kong in Google Earth.

Pacman comes to life virtually

June 28th, 2005

Researchers in Singapore have developed a human version of the classic arcade game Pacman, superimposing the virtual 3D game world on to city streets and buildings.

Merging different technologies such as GPS, Bluetooth, virtual reality, wi-fi, infrared and sensing mechanisms, the augmented reality game allows gamers to play in a digitally-enhanced maze-like version of the real world.

It has been selected as one of the world’s top 100 high-impact and visionary technologies and will showcased at the Wired NextFest 2005 in Chicago, US, which runs from June 24 to 26.

Semantic Web Doctoral Symposium

June 28th, 2005

ISWC will host the First International Semantic Web Doctoral Symposium on 7 November 2005. These kinds of events are opportunities for doctoral students to present their preliminary dissertation research results and get immediate feedback and advice from a panel of experts as well as interact informally with the panelists and other student participants. The goal of the symposium is to expose students to helpful criticism before their thesis defense, and to foster discussions related to future career perspectives. It’s an invaluable opportunity for PhD students to get free consulting on their dissertation research. Applications for one of the 6-8 slots are due by 19 August.

RFID in u-Korea

June 28th, 2005

The South Korean government is investng US$800 million into RFID research and development. Link

Daeje Chin, the Korean Minister of Information and Communication, said after several pilot projects the government believes RFID to be as important as the mobile phone business.

Chin said: “This will be very important for us in the next 10 years. The handset business is very big but RFID will be as important. We are trying to procure a number of goals with RFID and the application of new technology brings benefits in all social systems including the individual family.”

South Korea is also pushing ubiquitous computing (“anytime, anywhere, and on any device”) as a way to keep it’s mobile IT business expanding. Korea is a country with 47M people and 35M mobile subscribers. Link

Flu Wiki

June 27th, 2005

FluWiki is intended to use the power of the web to to help local communities prepare for and cope with a possible influenza pandemic. Public health issues have been the purview of local, state and national governmental agencies. FluWiki is exploring how new communication and collaboration technologies can help.

“No one, in any health department or government agency, knows all the things needed to cope with an influenza pandemic. But it is likely someone knows something about some aspect of each of them and if we can pool and share our knowledge we can advance preparation for and the ability to cope with events. This is not meant to be a substitute for planning, preparation and implementation by civil authorities, but a parallel effort that complements, supports and extends those efforts.”

FluWiki appears to be an application that could benefit from the judicious use of RDF and other semantic web technologies.

Northrop Grumman buys Tucana’s IP, will support Kowari

June 27th, 2005

David Wood announced in his blog that US Defense contractor Northrop Grumman has purchased the IP of of Tucana Technologies, which includes the Tucana Knowledge Server (TKS). Wood was the CTO and co-founder of Tucana, which had ceased operations in the last week of December 2004. He reports that Northrup will continue to develop TKS and also to support Kowari, the open sourced, scalable RDF database. This is great news and potenmtially significant to the continued evolution of semantic web technology.

Emergent semantics Yahoo group

June 25th, 2005

Emergent Semantics is a new Yahoo group that describes itself as follows:

“This group is dedicated to the discussion of the emergent semantic web – a mechanism through which meaning arises out of interactions between software agents, humans and metadata. The so-called “folksonomies” Flickr, are examples of such emergent phenomena. The idea is to extend this to the entire web and allow media to interact in ways currently not possible. For example, we can envisage ways in which IR algorithms can generate relations and allow for serendipitous interactions of data.”

Semantic Web demonstrated for US Congress members

June 24th, 2005

Jim Hendler and his students represented the Computing Research Association at the 11th annual Coalition for National Science Funding science exhibition and reception in Washington DC this week. At the event, universities and scientific associations showcase NSF supported research for members of the US Congress and their staff to maintain awareness of the importance of NSF support for US research. Jim’s demonstration of the potential of the semantic web was a big success. See Peter Harsha’s CRA blog for a good write up with pictures.

SKOS: Simple Knowledge Organization System

June 23rd, 2005

Peter Mikhalenko has a short article on on SKOS.

“SKOS (Simple Knowledge Organization System), recently introduced by the W3C, is a model for expressing knowledge organization systems in a machine-understandable way, within the framework of the Semantic Web. The SKOS Core Vocabulary is an RDF (Resource Description Framework) application. Using RDF allows data to be linked and merged with other RDF data by Semantic Web applications. SKOS Core provides a model for expressing the basic structure and content of concept schemes, including thesauri, classification schemes, subject heading lists, taxonomies, terminologies, glossaries, and other types of controlled vocabulary.”

MSN splitting the cake of map/local search

June 21st, 2005

msn search
How much do we know about our residential area? Our knowledge about the world around us is usually so limited and tied to certain routine. Before the web and search engine, yellow book, newspapers and local TV stations are the major public sources from which we can learn about the city where we live. Now local search and online map services become important alternative sources, and shows great profit potential (e.g. commercial ads). Following Yahoo and Google, Microsoft now join the competition for attacking people in local search and map services (Microsoft’s news press).

MSN today released a beta version of a new Local Search service, enabling consumers to quickly retrieve local results from business, residential or local Web sites, often accompanied by informative maps and aerial images.

EPIC 2014: Summary Of The World: Googlezon And The Newsmasters EPIC

June 21st, 2005

Googlezon id card

This is a fictionary 8-mintue mini-movie speculating the evolution of media from 1984 up until 2014 .

  • ‘2005 – In response to Google’s recent moves, Microsoft buys Friendster. ‘
  • ‘2008 sees the alliance that will challenge Microsoft’s ambitions. Google and Amazon join forces to form Googlezon.’
  • ‘In 2011, the slumbering Fourth Estate awakes to make its first and final stand. The New York Times Company sues Googlezon…’
  • ‘In year 2014, New York Times has gone offline.’

source:; transcript

Semantic Web Word Search

June 21st, 2005

Find fifty-one Semantic Web-related terms in this word search puzzle. Amaze your friends and impress your parents. Special bonus if you fold the list of terms to be found to the back before you do your search.

The terms were interlinked using a heuristic best-first search that favors shared letters, small diagrams and a uniform distribution of word directions. The empty cells were filled using a character 4-gram language model derived from the entries themselves.