Ping the Semantic Web: call for names of web services exporting RDF documents


    More and more web services start to export some of their data archived in their databases using RDF. Some of them have a specific goal in mind, others only do it “in case of” that someone would need it (like does). In any case, these RDF documents are waiting here, somewhere on the Web, waiting to be read and used.

Ping the Semantic Web’s goal is to act as a central point in that environment: aggregating these RDF documents and then sending them to other services (softwares) that need them.

More and more people are starting to ping the service. It now gets about 5000 ping requests each day and its constantly growing.

In the last couple of days, I contacted some people that are developing systems that export RDF data. I asked them two things:


  1. Would it be possible for you to make your system pinging Ping the Semantic Web each time it creates or updates a RDF document?
  2. Would it is possible for you to send me a list of URLs where Ping the Semantic Web could find the existing RDF documents generated by your service?


Today I am asking your help:

If you know a web service that export RDF documents, would it be possible for you to contact me with the name of this service?

Then what I’ll do is contacting them to ask them the two questions. What I’ll also do is helping them (technically) to implement the feature into their system if they encounter any problem.

Currently the service know about 57 000 RDF documents. I predict you that in one year it will knows millions of RDF documents. And what I hope is that many of them will not be serialized using XML but using N3 instead (but I should certainly wait after a wider adoption of SPARQL before seeing that happening).


People I already contacted:

  • D2R Server publishing the DBLP Bibliography Database (Richard sent me 1.2 million of URL to crawl and he should start to ping PTSW in January (yeah, this is partly why I said that I would had millions of RDF document 😉 )
  • Revyu (Tom should start to ping PTSW soon)
  • FOAFMap
  • FOAFNaut
  • Geonames (Just when I was about to publish this article, Marc contacted me telling me that Geonames now pings PTSW each time a geoname changes or is created. Also, he send me a list of 6.2 million of geonames to include).
  • Tribe
  • Semantic Media Wiki



Finally what I am requesting is help from people to try to find as many web services that export data using RDF as possible. That way everybody will benefit from it: they will increase the visibility of the data they are generating and PTSW will see its database of RDF document growing and growing for the benefit of the community.

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7 thoughts on “Ping the Semantic Web: call for names of web services exporting RDF documents

  1. Hi Fred! I just do not understand the idea behind this PingtheSemanticWeb Project.
    Why is it necessary at all? Is there a corresponding service for pre- SemanticWeb? If not, how comes that nobody needs it? Are you trying to create a central repository (a global list?) of available RDF data? Is this not what creators of the Web tried to avoid? What value does your list bring?

    With kind regards,

  2. Hi Alexander,

    Great interrogation!

    Do you know This is the same thing as, but for RSS and Atom web feed. Without this service, I am not sure that the new trend of search engine ( & co.) would exist. In fact, aggregated a critical mass of web feed data that helped new web service to emerge.

    PTSW has the same goal. The goal is to aggregate a critical mass of RDF data so that other web services, softwares, etc, can be developed over that data.

    The idea is to aggregate the maximum of document, and to easily, and effectively, distribute them to any body.

    That way, if you create a new social web service that explicit relationship amongs people, you could request all FOAF documents from PTSW and than playing with that data to explicit the relationship among people, explicits social networks, etc.

    Yah, this is probably most about letting people easily creating mashups using structured data.

    Hope this explanation make things clearer?



  3. Thanks a lot for the explanation, but I still do not understand how this service could be useful for me. I’m working on some kind of SemanticWeb browser/editor myself and I just don’t see how I could use this service. I also haven’t heard about before.
    If some application needs a central list of RDF resources to function — it is simply broken!
    Why RDF providers should register themselves in a global repository? Why RDF consumers should contact you to check whether some RDF data has been updated?
    Keeping a track of updated RDF data makes absolutely no sense to me. Do you have a list of updated files on your hard drive? Why would somebody need such a list? If some service keeps track of some RDF data, it can check itself (thanks Web!) and no service in between is needed for this.
    I’m terrible sorry as it looks that I’m missing something very important.
    I just want to understand how people use your service.

    P.S. Would it be possible to make this “Your Comment” textarea bigger than 5 lines?

  4. Hi Alexander,

    Okay, do you need RDF data for your browser? (for production or testing purposes). If you need RDF documents, where do you find you these documents? Are you aggregating them manually?

    If you would like to create a SIOC browser that would explicits some things with only communities, where would you find your SIOC data?

    Swoogle crawl the web since a year or two and got about 1.2 millions of RDF documents. As a developer, do you have that much time, and that much resources to do that?

    This is what PTSW is all about: helping people to find RDF documents.

    How do you find a web page? You probably use a search engine, and it is probably Google, Yahoo or MSN Search. If a page is not indexed by one of them, will you be able to find it? I doubt. I think it is the same thing with the semantic web.

    Or you find documents by browsing them (following relations (links)) or you go to the RDF document repository such as PTSW.

    I think that SW community need such a service, so people will spend less time trying to find SW documents.

    If it better explained that way?

    PS: I’ll check that for the comment box height 🙂

    Take care,


  5. OK, so this PTSW is supposed to be a part of a future SemanticSearch service. That’s cool, because I can clearly see a need for the SemanticSearch.

    I wish you all the best and good luck!

    With kind regards,

  6. Hi Alexander,

    Eventually yes (check one of my last blog post that talks about the SPARQL endpoint). But the first goal of PTSW is to help people developing application using RDF technologies. And it will help them by giving them easily access to thousands (and eventually millions) of RDF documents.

    Thanks for your questions,

    Take care,


  7. Great work on PTSW 🙂 As promised, now “Pings The Semantic Web” with the URIs of new Reviews. I’ve blogged about it here on Pings for updated FOAF and Tag information will come in the next version.

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