There was an official announcement, as well as some references, on the fact that the structure of data related work has changed at W3C. A new activity has been created called “Data Activity” , that subsumes what used to be called the Semantic Web Activity. “Subsumes ”is an important term here: W3C does notabandon the Semantic Web work (I emphasize that because I did get such reactions); instead, the existing and possible future work is simply continuing within a new structure. The renaming is simply a sign that W3C has also to pay attention to the fact that there are many different data formats used on the Web, not all of them follow the principles and technologies of the Semantic Web, and those other formats and approaches also have technological and standardization needs that W3C might be in position to help with.
What is Inference? Broadly speaking, inference on the Semantic Web can be characterized by discovering new relationships. On the Semantic Web, data is modeled as a set of (named) relationships between resources. “Inference” means that automatic procedures can generate new relationships based on the data and based on some additional information in the form of a vocabulary, e.g., a set of rules. Whether the new relationships are explicitly added to the set of data, or are returned at query time, is an implementation issue. Inference - W3C
Vertical Applications - W3C What are Vertical Applications? Vertical applications is the term used at W3C to denote particular, generic application areas, specific communities, etc, that explore how W3C technologies (e.g., Semantic Web technologies) can help their operations, improve their efficiencies, provide better user experiences, etc. Some of these application areas may decide to form some sort a group at W3C to cooperate with other W3C members to explore these possibilities further.
What is Query? “Query” in the Semantic Web context means technologies and protocols that can programmatically retrieve information from the Web of Data. What is Query Used For? The Semantic Web is a Web of data — of dates and titles and part numbers and chemical properties and any other data one might conceive of. RDF provides the foundation for publishing and linking your data. Query - W3C
What is a Vocabulary? On the Semantic Web, vocabularies define the concepts and relationships (also referred to as “terms”) used to describe and represent an area of concern. Vocabularies are used to classify the terms that can be used in a particular application, characterize possible relationships, and define possible constraints on using those terms. In practice, vocabularies can be very complex (with several thousands of terms) or very simple (describing one or two concepts only). Ontologies - W3C
Data - W3C What is Linked Data? The Semantic Web is a Web of Data — of dates and titles and part numbers and chemical properties and any other data one might conceive of. The collection of Semantic Web technologies (RDF, OWL, SKOS, SPARQL, etc.) provides an environment where application can query that data, draw inferences using vocabularies, etc. However, to make the Web of Data a reality, it is important to have the huge amount of data on the Web available in a standard format, reachable and manageable by Semantic Web tools.
Tim Berners-Lee on the next Web