ver the next five years the possibilities offered
by the Semantic Web will bring little near term
benefit for the heritage sector unless that sector co-
ordinates its efforts to ensure that the fundamental
building blocks that are necessary for the Semantic
Web to be a success are put in place.We need some
quick wins. A quick win involves identifying a
domain that every institution can be encouraged to
represent semantically and the placing in the public
domain of a `personalisable agent' that can take
advantage of these semantics.Three factors could
underpin a quick win: (a) a narrowly restricted
knowledge domain of real public value; (b) an
accessible and narrow ontology; and (c) a
personalisable tool for processing knowledge.
Ultimately the same factors that constrain the
heritage's sectors ability to take full advantage of the
Web will constrain the penetration and pervasiveness
of the Semantic Web in the heritage sector.The
success of the Semantic Web in the heritage sector
depends upon its adopting a XML based approach
and a significant experiment that demonstrates its
benefits to the wider community. Even for all its
weaknesses the Semantic Web offers a tantalising
solution to the problem of information overload
created by the web and the heritage sector needs to
address how it can take advantage of the
opportunities it offers.
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