In my search for this seemingly recent concept that is growing in popularity I found a couple articles that were trying to tell the future of the web, articles about artificial intelligence, and about computers understanding natural language.

Naturally, I was overwhelmed, got a headache, then turned to good ole W3C to alleviate my dilemma. If my understanding is correct (I’m sleep deprived at the moment) the Semantic Web is about this:

Humans are capable of using the Web to carry out tasks such as finding the Finnish word for “cat”, reserving a library book, and searching for a low price on a DVD. However, a computer cannot accomplish the same tasks without human direction because web pages are designed to be read by people, not machines. The semantic web is a vision of information that is understandable by computers, so that they can perform more of the tedious work involved in finding, sharing and combining information on the web.” from MiramarMike

So how is this different? Basically it’s the internet on easy mode. Instead of having to search for keywords, go through the sites and find the information you want. You can type in a place and the computer finds everything associated with that place automatically. The computer is doing all that searching and sifting for you.

Michael V. Copeland’s article really helped me connect the dots though with his Semantic Web Chart. Let’s take an example. Say I would like to find a restaurant nearest to me. I could go to Mapquest type in my address and search for restaurants. Ok not bad, with the semantic web I could just type in Dallas Restaurant in the search bar and it would find a restaurant closest to where I specifically lived if I wanted it to.

So in summary, instead of the computer being a vast and powerful tool we can use, the semantic web will have reasoning and can connect the dots per se for us instead of us doing all the connecting.