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 Mangrove: An Evolutionary Approach to the Semantic Web

These pages are no longer maintained, but are provided here for reference. Contact Luke McDowell for more information.

The WWW is focused on presenting documents for humans to view, rather than providing data for software-based extraction, processing, and querying. Despite numerous proposals for creating a semantic web over the last decade, the vision of the semantic web has not yet materialized.

The Mangrove project seeks to create an environment in which users are motivated to create semantic content because of the existence of useful semantic services that exploit that content and because the process of generating such content is as close as possible to existing techniques for generating HTML documents. Our goal is to facilitate the simple annotation and subsequent extraction and querying of the enormous amount of information that already exists within the WWW's billions of HTML pages, rather than requiring the creation of new content from scratch. Our approach thus seeks to faciliate the gradual transformation of the current web into the semantic web.

Semantic Services

We provide initial services that are useful to the community even before individual users semantically annotate their pages, including:

Click here to find out more info about these services and how they are automatically seeded with basic information.

The annotation process

1. Annotation. Users annotate their documents using either our annotation tool or through a traditional editor, while consulting the schema, a simple hierarchy of allowable tags.

2. Publication. When users have finished, they publish their document by sending its URL to the semantic server. This is accomplished either by clicking a button in the annotation tool or through the online publish form.

3. Applications. The publish operation returns a set of links to semantic services that were updated based on the published data. Users can either click on one of these links or choose from the list of semantic services.

4. Iteration. Based on the results of the semantic services, users may want to refine their document annotations and publish again.


  • How to annotate your own pages. Try this to get your own events in the calendar or to augment your information in the Who's Who.
  • How to write your own semantic services. Write the next killer app.
  • Want to find out more or join the Mangrove project? Send mail to etzioni@cs.washington.edu
  • Want to create a semantic web within your own organization? Send mail to lucasm@cs.washington.edu