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According to the Google Base site ( beta ), it is:

... a place where you can easily submit all types of online and offline content, which we'll make searchable on Google (if your content isn't online yet, we'll put it there). You can describe any item you post with attributes, which will help people find it when they do related searches. In fact, based on your items' relevance, users may find them in their results for searches on Google Product Search, Google Maps and even our main Google web search.

Key features:

  • Submit all type of online and offline content ( if it isn't on the web, Google Base will put it there )
  • Post searchable items with attributes ( if you don't like the availible attributes. create your own.
  • Types of files a user can submit include PDF, Microsoft Excel, Text, HTML, Rich Text Format, and XML.

That's a very powerful combination of features, especially coming from Goggle.

A nice detail is that Google Base will accept uploads in a variety of formats including RSS, which means that people who have RSS feeds can submit their content via RSS. What's more, users can create custom XML attributes within XML file uploads, which get parsed and indexed. Very powerful.

However, it's not the end ( or beginning ? ) of the Semantic Web as we know it ( assuming it existed in the first place ). At the moment Google Base seems to be a very fast meta-data or meta-tag search engine, but does not have inferencing capability. It still needs considerable work to make it useful. At this point, most pages seem to get visited about 0.3 times a day or less.

Oddly, all content must be in English, a distinctly un-SemWebian policy. Language transparency could be vastly improved by mapping between standard, well-understood sets of attributes in different languages.

In addition, Goggle states that "posting is not permitted for the promotion of discounted currencies or currency exchanges", so all you billionaire currency speculators out there better think twice before posting to Google Base. This means you, George Soros !!! ;-)

Google Base is still in the Beta phase and SemWeb researchers and academics need not contemplate returning their unspent grant money, not yet anyway. But Google Base will probably become a successful Web 3.0 / SemWeb application over time. It will be well worth the effort to keep an eye on in the future.



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