Exchange and bringing together overlapping or complementing information from various sources, applications, and perspectives has been a major issue in both commercial and scientific domains. Several aspects can be identified that complicate the realization of a solution to the problem one of the largest being the way in which information is offered. Differences in formats or structures of information as well as differences in vocabulary provide hurdles for the interoperability and integration of information.
In the past 5-10 years, Semmtech has been working on a so called SEMMweb Data Cloud-solution, making full use of Semantic Web-technology in an advanced and innovative manner. A Data Cloud is a coherent set of information that can be used by different software from different suppliers unbound by the location where the information is stored. A Data Cloud can be a single autonomous set of information or a collection of different sets which link information into a coherent whole. A Data Cloud can describe any business domain, like for instance civil engineering products, throughout its life-cycle, while different parts (subsets) of the data are managed by different parties in the supply chain, with different software from different vendors. Information in a Data Cloud is retrievable via the Internet and can be (re)used by different parties to add data about any object, contributing to one big ’cloud’ of data that covers parts of or even the whole range of references and attributes related to an object.
An interesting case that combines some of the most relevant components of the Data Cloud-solution in a working prototype is the V-con project. The prime focus of this prototype is to tackle a set of interoperability challenges as set by two National Road Authorities (i.e. Rijkswaterstaat and Trafikverket) in a European project by the name of Virtual Construction for Roads (V-Con). Specifically in this project, Semmtech is partnering with the global engineering firm Arcadis.
This work was done as a part of MSc thesis research.