We have barely settled into 2012 and Google are already causing semantic tidal waves. We take a glimpse at Google’s latest revelation Search, Plus Your World in the same week that Hendler, co-founder of the Semantic Web, is selected as an AAAS Fellow. In addition, big data and domain names feature alongside commentary on what will be important digital key trends throughout the year ahead (not more predictions!).

Each week we bring you the most thought-provoking news on how the semantic web is changing the way web users discover, interact and exchange online.

We hope you find the links useful, and if you’d like us to cover any particular aspect of the semantic web in the comments box below.

Did Google Just Expose Semantic Data in Search Results? – Read Write Web

In what appears to us to be a new addition to many Google search results pages, queries about birth dates, family connections and other information are now being responded to with explicitly semantic structured information. Who is Bill Clinton's wife? What's the capital city of Oregon? What is Britney Spears' mother's name? The answers to these and other factual questions are now displayed above natural search results in Google and the information is structured in the traditional subject-predicate-object format, or "triples," of semantic web parlance.

What marketers should ponder this year – iMedia Connection

Rather than play a what's next guessing game, a more important question is "what's important?" A focus on key digital trends, coupled with a new year's resolution both to follow them and continually educate oneself on developments in key areas of the industry can prove far more fruitful than guessing games. According to Wikipedia, "The main purpose of the Semantic Web is driving the evolution of the current web by enabling users to find, share, and combine information more easily." The protocols, standards, and structures used and being developed to shape and connect "the web of data" are still emerging, but will be instrumental in shaping not only the semantic web, but the internet's next generation.

Rensselaer Professors Gilbert and Hendler Selected as 2011 AAAS Fellows – Renssealer

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) cites Hendler for fundamental contributions in artificial intelligence, including automated planning, and for the invention (with Tim Berners-Lee and Ora Lassila) of the Semantic Web — the next generation of the World Wide Web.

A .data Top-Level Internet Domain? Stephen Wolfram

The concept for the .data domain is to use it to create the “data web”—in a sense a parallel construct to the ordinary web, but oriented toward structured data intended for computational use. The notion is that alongside a website like wolfram.com, there’d be wolfram.data. What is the relation of all this to the semantic web? The central notion of the semantic web is to introduce markup for human-readable web pages that makes them easier for computers to understand and process. And there’s some overlap here with the concept of the data web. But the bulk of the data web is about providing a place for large lumps of structured data that no human would ever directly want to deal with.

Handling Big Data VarietyFinextra

Variety refers to various degrees of structure (or lack thereof) within the source data. While much attention has been given to loosely-structured Web data, whether sourced from the Web itself (social media, etc.), or from Web server logs, I'd like to turn to the topic of unstructured data within the financial institution’s firewall and focus on the challenge of linking diverse data with various levels of structure, rather than discussing the storage and analysis of unstructured data as a standalone problem.