Semantic web technology at NASA: lower costs and greater productivity

An inspiring story.

Ian Jacob's recent interview with NASA's Jean Holm on the W3C website is an excellent case study of semantic web technology. It's not a long article, so I recommend that you read the whole thing. Here are few points that caught me eye:

NASA logo
  • She gives nice hard numbers about money spent and money saved, and saw a downward trend of the costs.

  • They used publication data to infer social networks and shared expertise and found other related ways to reduce the need for staff data entry.

  • The use of service agreements encouraged people to share data more easily.

  • This sharing led to demonstrated serendipitous reuse of data.

  • They plan to network the vocabularies (she doesn't use this term literally—I know it from a TopQuadrant context—but she's clearly talking about the same thing).

It was nice to see the credit that she gave to Kendall Clark. With my TopQuadrant hat on, I wish she'd mentioned some of the extensive work that Raph Hodgson has done there, but NASA is a big organization.

After reading Danny Ayers' Smell the coffee blog post this morning, which wasn't very hopeful about recent progress in the semantic web, I hoped that Ian's interview with Jeanne would cheer him up.