2 A short history of the semantic web 

This lesson takes a bird’s eye view of how Linked Data evolved, starting from an early vision of Tim Berners-Lee in the 1980’s. It explains how this vision was articulated in an influential article in Scientific American in the early 2000’s. Many of the things envisioned in that article are common-place features we can see around us. The original vision has materialized. 

This lesson also discusses the time-line of the early Linked Data standards. 

The background knowledge provided in this lesson will enable students to better understand how Linked Data works and how it is used — topics discussed in later lessons. 

The learning objectives of this lesson are: 

  • Appraise how the semantic web emerged 40 years ago 
  • Understand how the terms Linked Data, semantic web and knowledge graph are used 
  • Review how the vision of Linked Data evolved in the early years 
  • Communicate to peers how this vision has materialized around us 
  • Appreciate the timeline of how the foundational standards came about 
  • Contrast Linked Data and Linked Open Data 
  • Recognize how the Linked Open Data cloud develops