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Towards an Ecosystem for Structured Data on the Web

Alon Halevy ( Google Inc., USA )

The World-Wide Web contains vast quantities of structured data on a variety of domains, such as hobbies, products and reference data. Moreover, the Web provides a platform that can encourage publishing more data sets from governments and other public organizations and support new data management opportunities, such as effective crisis response, data journalism and crowd-sourcing data sets. To enable such wide-spread dissemination and use of structured data on the Web, we need to create a ecosystem that makes it easier for users to discover, manage, visualize and publish structured data on the Web.

I will describe some of the efforts we are conducting at Google towards this goal and the technical challenges they raise. In particular, I will describe Google Fusion Tables, a service that makes it easy for users to contribute data and visualizations to the Web and to perform data integration. I then describe the WebTables Project that attempts to discover high-quality tables on the Web and recover their semantics to provide effective search over the resulting collection of 200 million tables.

Speaker bio

Alon Halevy heads the Structured Data Management Research group at Google. Prior to that, he was a professor of Computer Science at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he founded the database group. In 1999, Dr. Halevy co-founded Nimble Technology, one of the first companies in the Enterprise Information Integration space, and in 2004, Dr. Halevy founded Transformic, a company that created search engines for the deep web, and was acquired by Google. Dr. Halevy is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, received the the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 2000, and was a Sloan Fellow (1999-2000). He received his Ph.D in Computer Science from Stanford University in 1993. Halevy is also a coffee culturalist and published the book "The Infinite Emotions of Coffee", bringing together stories about coffee culture from 30 countries. He is a co-author the book "Principles of Data Integration", to be published in Summer of 2012.


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