Ian Jacob’s recent interview with NASA’s Jean Holm on the W3C website is an excellent case study of semantic web technology. It’s not a long article, so I recommend that you read the whole thing. Here are few points that caught me eye:

NASA logo
  • She gives nice hard numbers about money spent and money saved, and saw a downward trend of the costs.

  • They used publication data to infer social networks and shared expertise and found other related ways to reduce the need for staff data entry.

  • The use of service agreements encouraged people to share data more easily.

  • This sharing led to demonstrated serendipitous reuse of data.

  • They plan to network the vocabularies (she doesn’t use this term literally—I know it from a TopQuadrant context—but she’s clearly talking about the same thing).

It was nice to see the credit that she gave to Kendall Clark. With my TopQuadrant hat on, I wish she’d mentioned some of the extensive work that Raph Hodgson has done there, but NASA is a big organization.

After reading Danny Ayers' Smell the coffee blog post this morning, which wasn’t very hopeful about recent progress in the semantic web, I hoped that Ian’s interview with Jeanne would cheer him up.