Just to let you all know, it is now forbidden to use "web", "webs" or any variants thereof in new technical terms. Do you have any idea how difficult it is for me to explain that a Web Service is not, in fact, a service provided through a web page?
Anyhoo, via Petrona I find there was a Data Webs workshop last week, presented by the UK Research Information Network (RIN).
Data webs: new visions for research data on the Web - June 28, 2006
This workshop, which attracted about 90 participants, sought to address these issues, with the help of a panel of distinguished speakers from both sides of the Atlantic. The event provided an opportunity to examine and discuss the changing nature of scholarly publication and the use of lightweight Semantic Web and Web 2.0 approaches to improve access to, and interoperability between scientific research data.
In particular, the workshop developed the concept of Data Webs, a new concept in digital information storage and integration that involve lightweight harvesting of metadata describing distributed data into a central searchable registry. It showed that Data Webs are often a more appropriate means for the publication and integration of research data than the use of centralized databases.
The presentations are supposed to be up soon. You may want to briefly contemplate the irony of a workshop about fancy data networks that has neither an RSS feed (so that I can find out when the page is updated) nor a workshop tag (so that I can find reports about the workshop).
UPDATE 2006-07-07: Presentations are now available. ENDUPDATE
I'm making my own tag: rindatawebs2006.
Here are some posts that I found:
Nascent announcement of Data Webs workshop - May 23, 2006
HubLog has some notes: 2006-06-28 Data Webs Conference
Adrian Smith of Engineering & Science Library News - Leeds University Library also has some notes.
Simon Price reports on some cool-sounding demonstrations
Peter Mika of Free University of Amsterdam, demonstrated his social network mining software which clusters a research community using distances and measures based on standard graph algorithms such as centrality and edge betweenness. Peter also showed keyword frequency tag clouds as a visualisation of academics’ research interests based on their publications. Nature Publishing Group’s Ben Lund showed similar tag clouds on their social bookmarking website Connotea.
I did some more searching to look into the background of the data webs concepts.
Robert Grossman appears to be a leading proponent. He has a Data Webs FAQ.
Q. What is a data web?
A. A data web is a web based infrastructure for accessing, analyzing and mining remote and distributed attribute-based data. Data webs can be implemented using general web services and protocols such as XML and SOAP or more specialized protocols and services designed for working with large, remote data sets. Conceptually, data webs are designed to facilitate simple, easy access, integration, analysis, and mining of remote and distributed in the same way the web is designed to make browsing remote documents as simple as possible.
Q. How can I found out more?
A. Some technical articles can be found later on this web page. The DataSpace Project develops open source clients and servers to create data webs and additional information can be found on its home page www.dataspaceweb.org. The rest of this web page answers some basic questions about data webs.
He presented at O'Reilly Bioinformatics Technology Conference 2003:
Integrating Distributed Bioinformatics Data Using Data Webs (PowerPoint)
Robert Grossman, Laboratory for Advanced Computing, University of Illinois at Chicago
I also found another presentation from 2002 or 2003
The Analysis & Mining of Globally Distributed Data
Chapter 6. Data Webs (PDF)