Dutch SemWeb Meetup #2

We had our second Dutch Semantic Web Meetup for 2010 yesterday. This was a smaller and more impromptu event than our last meetup. Many of our colleagues were enjoying the sun in Crete at ESWC. But Jan Aasman from Franz, Inc was in town and we thought it was a good chance to get everyone together to talk semantic web. We had 20 attendees with both new and old attendees.

Jan gave an interesting keynote discussing the internals of AllegroGraph (note, ssd drives really improve performance) as well as its features. I think what resonated most with the audience was the various demos and use cases Jan gave. He gave examples ranging from pharma to integrating information about the environmental impact of the lumber trade in Canada. One of the demos that  Marco Roos (a biologist from Leiden Medical Center) and a number of others thought was compelling,  showed the integration of LinkedClinicalTrials data with a number of other Linking Open Data sets (Diseasome, DrugBank). Jan showed how one could navigate between clinical trials via common diseases, symptoms, etc.

The two take aways were that semantics really allows for integrated data analytics and that were getting close to triple store parity to classic relational databases. Triple stores that can handle a trillion triples are coming this year…

After the talk, we headed to the VU Unviersity’s campus cafe and sat outside in the sun (yes, Amsterdam was emulating Crete). From talking to the various attendees, I think some important connections were made. With this smaller size event, it’s easier to get in-depth into conversations.

Given the short notice for this event, I was really impressed with the turnout. The Dutch semantic web community is clearly strong and we hope to continue organizing these events on a regular basis.

Finally, thanks to Christophe Guéret for organizing the event.

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