University of Southampton Professor Dame Wendy Hall, who is involved in the newly founded, Internet-focused Institute of Web Science, says the interdisciplinary field is experiencing rapid growth as governments increasingly acknowledge the value the digital economy will bring to the developed world in the coming decades. Among the disciplines that make up Web science are economics, law, sociology, philosophy, and technology. Hall says Web science will concentrate on the Internet's potential impact, especially as it begins to transform into the Semantic Web thanks to a new generation of services and businesses.
Hall notes that the public sector is spearheading the transition to a "linked" or data Web rather than academia or industry. As an example of the kinds of services enabled by the Semantic Web, Hall cites an application called Asbometer, which integrates geographical data and information on anti-social behavior orders to supply a service showing how many people have such a disorder in a specific region.
She stresses that businesses need to keep pace with Web developments, given the potential for upheaval similar to the inversion traditional business models experienced with the advent of the first version of the Web.
From Computer Weekly
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