Personal Semantic Data

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The tools that we use to manage our personal information have evolved over time from the pen and paper day planners to their numerous digital replacements. The desktop used to be at the centre of the users' PIM universe, storing ever-growing quantities of information. However, the trend is to move an increasing share of information towards mobile devices and the Cloud. This includes email and calendar information, but also documents (enabled by systems like Chrome OS, Google Documents, or MS Office Live). Social relations are managed through social Web sites like Facebook or MySpace. Therefore, personal data also comes in the form of non-conventional information such as a user's presence and activities (on their devices, networks or online).

Managing such vast information, spread over multiple locations and formats can be a daunting task. Semantic technologies can help by providing structured data in an open format. In addition, as the shift from physical to digital activities continues, users are increasingly aware of their various digital footprints, their persistancy and the associated privacy implications.

Personal Semantic Data is personal data expressed in a semantic way, using Semantic Web technologies, like a standard RDF-based representation and common vocabularies. It can come in many forms and be spread over many devices. If extracted and mapped onto an extended personal semantic model, this information can be processed to increase its owner's awareness, minimise risks, and potentially enable smart systems to provide context-based recommendations.

There are many interesting research questions surrounding the topic of Personal Semantic Data: how to generate and manage, how to best visualize and query, synchronize and backup, further interlink data from separate sources. Through this series of workshops we wish to explore and discuss the challenges, present innovative solutions and share novel research results.

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