Twenty years ago, Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. For his next project, he's building a web for open, linked data that could do for numbers what the Web did for words, pictures, and video: unlock our data and reframe the way we use it together. Read more and watch the video on TED as he explains his concept.
If the past was document sharing, the future is data sharing. Tim Berners-Lee says now, “I want you to put your data on the Web.” But how should we go about that? To answer that question, Berners-Lee provides three points of instruction. One, a URL should point to the data. Two, anyone accessing the URL should get data back. Three, relationships in the data should point to additional URLs with data. These three rules are simpler departure from the past 10 years of discussion, focused on the “semantic” web and a “resource description framework”. Those concepts have received less mainstream acceptance because of their high degree of abstraction. Other technology is faring better, in particular the hardware devices. For example, wider data collection through common 3G devices can now monitor traffic, temperature, emergencies and other events with transparent data connectivity. If the past is any indication, hardware advances will continue to arrive much earlier than software advances. So while the raw data is coming, we still have a long way to go before the software to access a world wide web of data is mature.