Semantic Web content structures, which are implemented through domain-specific ontologies, are designed first and foremost to be machine readable. Therefore, the benefit of developing formal object relationships for local content is not typically realizable at the local site. For example, the primary output of a semantic web website is an RDF resource map, which describes an aggregation of the content relationships. All the fancy bits are mostly invisible to the user. Moreover, the availability of machine aggregators is quite limited, such that the real benefit is often framed as a promise for the future.
The SURF Foundations’s InContext visualizer software remedies this somewhat by enabling local visualization of content relationships.
The ‘InContext’ EP visualisation tool provides a clear overview of the research material and the connections between the various different items. Each item is visualised as a rectangular button giving the title and the type of material concerned. When you click on a button, it moves to the centre of the presentation and it is then surrounded by the items to which it is related. The type of relationship between the various items is shown and grouped clearly.
SURF Foundation explains further:
InContext utilises the Resource Description Framework (RDF). This is an Internet standard that is used as a format for presenting and exchanging data. The RDF model enables us to make statements about the features of resources on the Web in the form of a three-part subject-predicate-object structure (referred to in the context of RDF as a ‘triple’). The subject is basically the resource that is described. The predicate is the feature or aspect of that resource. The object is the value of that feature or aspect. Presenting content in RDF terms means it can be read by computer systems. RDF is therefore also an important component of the semantic web.