Adding Semantics to Social Websites for Citizen Science

Andriy Parafiynyk , Cynthia Sims Parr, Joel Sachs, Tim Finin

While efforts are underway to represent existing ecological databases semantically, so that they may be intelligently queried and integrated by agents, less attention has been paid to 1) rapidly changing datastreams, and 2) unstructured data from amateur observers. We describe the development of two tools that interact with popular social websites as a means to generate and take advantage of semantic web content for citizen science. Splickr, a website, interacts with the Flickr and Yahoo maps APIs to provide a convenient way of browsing and querying Flickr's geotagged photos. SPOTter, a Firefox plug-in, is an aid to semantic ecoblogging. Both tools generate RDF based on rich OWL ontologies. This approach has wide applicability both in and outside science.

Subjects: 11. Knowledge Representation; 1.6 Engineering And Science

Submitted: May 15, 2007


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