It is always interesting to find out about new communities using Semantic Web technologies. So here is one more: 3D Media. Although I already knew about some work going on around this subject, a paper published by Michela Spagnuolo and Bianca Falcidieno just drew my attention on it again. Unfortunately, the paper, being published by IEEE, is not publicly available:-( but if you can get hold of it, it is worth looking at it!
Using specific vocabularies it should be possible to provide semantic annotation of 3D models, shapes, surfaces, etc, regardless of how you present or construct the 3D virtual object itself. The paper gives the example of a 3D surface described in terms of a triangular mesh; in some cases, for example to gain on display efficiency, the mesh may be converted into a coarser mesh, but a corresponding semantic descriptions should stay unchanged. How to exactly do that, how to store the metadata, what is the exact identification of the surface itself (i.e., what are the URI-s to use), what type of vocabularies should be developed by the community, etc, are all R&D issues: there is now a community growing up around these questions. If such semantic descriptions are available then better organizations of shapes, better search facilities, better segmentation tools for 3D objects, etc, can be developed. (It is not unlike what happens with images and their possible semantic characterizations, except that moving from 2D to 3D significantly increases complexity.) It is also possible to create and share depositories of 3D shapes, models, etc, and possibly link them to other datasets around the Web. Such activities are already happening, eg in the AIM@SHAPE project, or the publication of some of the relevant OWL ontologies but, at least to my knowledge, there has not been too much connections between the, shall we say, “core” Semantic Web community (whatever that means:-) and this 3D Model activity. That is why I was pleased to see the paper of Michela and Bianca; maybe more connections can be made in the years to come!
(Full disclosure: I am biased. Indeed, in my previous life, I was active in Computer Graphics and I actually has the pleasure of co-organizing a workshop with Bianca Falcidieno a long time ago; I also met Michela at that Workshop. It was one of the nicest events I participated in in the 90’s…)
- Spagnuolo, Michela and Falcidieno, Bianca (2009) “3D Media and the Semantic Web.” IEEE Intelligent Systems, 24(2), pp. 90-96. Available from: http://www2.computer.org/portal/web/csdl/doi/10.1109/MIS.2009.20
- Falcidieno, Bianca, Herman, Ivan and Pienovi, Caterina (eds.) (1992) Computer Graphics and Mathematics, Heidelberg, Springer Verlag.