Far from being a cynical marketing exercise, use of terms such as ‘Linked Data’ and ‘Web of Data’ simply represent a clarification of the intentions behind the Semantic Web vision. The label ‘Semantic Web’ has itself been a victim of semantics, which has not aided adoption of the underlying ideas.
How the Semantic Web develops over the next ten years will remain to be seen, but in the meantime it’s essential that we use terms that speak to people in clear terms, and convey more of the key features that can lead to a more meaningful Web. ‘Web of Data’ does just that, and ‘Linked Data’ is the means by which we are reaching that goal.
The screen below – a visualization of the currently available Linked Open data – is taken from a talk Tom Heath gave in February 2008 in Amsterdam, at the occasion of the CATCH Programme and E-Culture Project Meeting on Metadata Interoperability. This snap shot of the LOD cloud documents its size in May 2007: