The Semantic Web, Semantic Links, and AquaPedia
The way people read information and the ways machines read information are very different. While a person could easily read information about a river basin and the people who live within a basin and extract facts about the type of climate, economy, and values held by inhabitants, it would be very difficult for a machine to parse that text and list the same facts. Data must be annotated to be read and combined by machine. The semantic web seeks to classify information to make it more easily read by machine. Examples of the output of semantic links include the keyword tags placed in blog articles that link related topics together, or the fact that the author of an article on your favorite news website links to their biography and a list of their recent articles: each keyword or author name has been linked to a property that tells the website how to relate that information to other information stored online.
This website uses a hybrid approach: some information has semantic properties and some does not. At the bottom of case studies and articles, you'll see a "SMW factbox" which lists the semantic properties that have been set for data in this page. We use this to tag the types of stakeholders involved in a project, the types of key questions addressed in a case study, and basic facts about things like the population of a watershed or length of a river. Each article and case study also includes content that is not semantically linked. This includes all of the descriptions, summaries, and other extended text areas.
We use this information to automatically update lists of articles via queries. An example of this is the "browse case studies" page accessible on the left-side toolbar of the website. Users can also use special pages to create their own queries and adventurous contributors can write their own parser functions to include custom queries in their articles, if desired. We'll try to add more information on how to do this in the future. Everything is accomplished via standard Semantic MediaWiki queries.
Semantic Properties on AquPedia
See the list of Semantic properties used on AquaPedia for more information.
See Help:Semantic Properties/Semantic Search to learn about how to use semantic properties to search or browse pages
Categories as Semantic Properties
All articles belong to one main category and can belong to subcategories as well.
The major categories and subcategories for AquaPedia content are:
- Case Study
- Key Question
A more extensive list of categories is available at Special:Categories
Categories can be used in semantic searches to limit results to a category of article types, and may sometimes be more useful for results than using the associated Property that defines a specific article type.