May 15, 2007
Cambridge chemist Peter Murray-Rust recently alerted me to the DBpedia service. DBpedia.org is a community effort to extract structured information (semantics) from Wikipedia and to make this information available on the Web. DBpedia allows you to ask sophisticated questions of Wikipedia rather than carrying out simple searches. “DBPedia is a semantic distillate of Wikipedia and soon all the chemistry will be in semantic form,” asserts Murray-Rust, “It will then be possible to ask questions like: “find compounds which were discovered by a Russian chemist in the 19th Century”. That is a simplistic example, of course. He believes that such efforts form part of a new information philosophy of linked data and points out that Open chemical resources, such as Pubchem, DBPedia, CrystalEye, ChEBI, etc. will soon become part of that philosophy.