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Web Guru Berners-Lee Highlights Open Data

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World Wide Web Consortium Director Sir Tim Berners-Lee

Government, scientific research, and mapping data has already become more openly available, says World Wide Web Consortium Director Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

Credit: Scrape TV

Linked data will transform the Internet because Web browsing would give way to using programs that automatically seek out and find useful information, according to World Wide Web Consortium director Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Government and scientific researchers have begun to make data open and available, Berners-Lee says. Bloggers also have helped to show that sharing information can bring together people with similar interests who can work toward common goals, he says.

Berners-Lee cites the OpenStreetMap as an application whose edits and overlays have not been claimed by a proprietary service. He acknowledges that open data faces several challenges, such as how to fairly compensate those who compile the data used to build applications.

Berners-Lee also says social media Web sites are preventing people who contribute to the networks from taking advantage of the data, and notes that putting up walls would lead to two possible outcomes. "Either you become the most powerful site in the world, or you die," he says.

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