Sumit Sharma

A utopian approach to organizing data

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There is no right solution to organizing the web of data and all solutions will ultimately converge into a common framework and an attempt is being made to define a semantic web of data in this article. Assuming an ideal utopia in which standardization and federation of data have absolutely no obstacles, an iteration of the semantic web of user and provider data will be presented in the following section.

The Semantic Web of User Data

Again, assuming a utopian world, for user data to be organized effectively we would need to characterize human beings’ information and all other entities in relation to our activities in a federated manner. Humans can be represented in terms of three core foundation overlays: virtual, physical and mind/body. Here is a summary of what the semantic web of user data would look like after including in contextual metadata from all 3 plains:

Physical context – what occurs in the presence of Oxygen: includes, but is certainly not limited to, the following: geographical space, time, macro events, micro events, social context, meteorological factors, micro-geographical space, type of event etc. and so on.

Perhaps the most pertinent example of measuring physical data nowadays is on Google maps, which records your location when you use it, through the use of the GPS on modern devices. Spreading this further, there is much more scope of recording more data on the physical plain be it which physical shop you visited, last time you watched a movie, how many times your visit the gym or the last time you took highway 1 down the Californian coast.

Virtual context – what occurs in the presence of 0’s and 1’s: includes, and is certainly not limited to, the following: download speed, bandwidth available, latency, type of machine: Mac or PC, type of browser: Safari, IE or Firefox, website information, average time spent online, browsing history, cookie information, sophistication and power of local machine in terms of RAM, processor and storage etc, our avatar activity, websites you’ve visited, ads you have clicked through, products you have purchased and it can even get detailed to the extent of subject matter within your emails thanks to Google.

We are producing a wealth of information in the virtual world and how much of it is getting consumed depends on what privacy settings you’ve knowingly or unknowingly agreed to, what devices and technologies you’re using and how much you use the internet for various activities. The fact is there is unlimited information about us, owned by Google, Yahoo, Amazon.com, 1800Flowers.com, Apple, Nokia, Microsoft, Garmin, Sony Playstation, Nintendo and so on.

Body/Mind context – what occurs in the psychological and biological realm of our minds and bodies could include: vital body signs, neuron activity, mental mood and so on.

How this data gets recorded depends on the sophistication of portable devices and advancement of interfaces between doctors’ offices, clinics, pharmacies etc and the virtual world – it could be from the watches with blood pressure sensors, portable devices that measure vital signs that link up to the internet or as simple as an interface between your doctors’ EMR system to a 3rd party medical information aggregator. There is much scope for this and we haven’t even begun to hit the tip of the iceberg.

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Written by Sumit

October 21, 2009 at 6:46 am

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