RDF (Resource Description Framework) metadata is one of those technologies which is barely heard of, but which has the potential of changing the way we use the Internet forever.
The concept of metadata itself is very old. Librarians have been doing it since the invention of the script. Copy the title, the author, and the summary of a book on a piece of cardboard and you have the book's metadata. However the advent of fast computers and distributed networks is opening a myriad of possibilities and new opportunities.
In the last few years, the government has been pushing public websites to implement a set of RDF metadata through e-gif and e-gms standards. MKDoc Ltd's existing product, MKDoc CMS, is one of the few products which are capable of creating of completely e-gif compliant, metadata-rich websites.
More and more organisations have already implemented or are in the process of incorporating the e-gif standard in their IT strategy. Subsequently, increasing amounts of quality metadata in the UK public web space. However, there are yet no tools which exploit this enormous pool of metadata properly.
In partnership with the DTI, which provides £75k funding through a SMART award, MKDoc Ltd. is going to conduct a feasability study for an innovative e-gif compliant search engine. A prototype developed from a researched set of existing or new open-source software components will be built over an estimated period of 18 months.
The prototype, codenamed MKSearch, which will allow e-gif compliant metadata to be indexed, and subsequently searched precisely and speedily.
MKSearch will be making full use of cutting edge internet technologies such as RDF, RSS, fast triple stores and REST web architecture to provide a novel search framework. This will allow the increasingly large amount of metadata being produced in the UK public webspace to be indexed in a high performance triple store server. The index will provide distributed search, aggregation, and syndication in order to allow the creation of exciting personalised services such as search, portals, and customised newsletters.