Piggy Bank: Experience the Semantic Web Inside Your Web Browser

David Huynh, Stefano Mazzocchi, David R. Karger

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The Semantic Web Initiative envisions a Web wherein information is offered free of presentation, allowing more effective exchange and mixing across web sites and across web pages. But without substantial Semantic Web content, few tools will be written to consume it; without many such tools, there is little appeal to publish Semantic Web content. To break this chicken-and-egg problem, thus enabling more flexible information access, we have created a web browser extension called Piggy Bank that lets users make use of Semantic Web content within Web content as users browse the Web. Wherever Semantic Web content is not available, Piggy Bank can invoke screenscrapers to re-structure information within web pages into Semantic Web format. Through the use of Semantic Web technologies, Piggy Bank provides direct, immediate benefits to users in their use of the existing Web. Thus, the existence of even just a few Semantic Web-enabled sites or a few scrapers already benefits users. Piggy Bank thereby offers an easy, incremental upgrade path to users without requiring a wholesale adoption of the Semantic Web's vision. To further improve this Semantic Web experience, we have created Semantic Bank, a web server application that lets Piggy Bank users share the Semantic Web information they have collected, enabling collaborative efforts to build sophisticated Semantic Web information repositories through simple, everyday's use of Piggy Bank.

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