Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Introducing Schema.org and Microdata

In my recent Standards Summer Camp post I discussed the concept of microformats as a way to standardize provider directory information in a simple to use and easy to index web page.

Now, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo have agreed on uniform microdata formats and placed the specifications in a shared location - schema.org

Here's the press coverage of their announcement.

The idea is simple - search engine providers collaboratively document a single set of tags for commonly expressed concepts - people, organizations, places etc.

Web page authors markup their pages with these schemas, making true semantic web possible - no RDF necessary.

There's even a schema for provider directories already published!

Schema.org is in essence Google,  Microsoft Bing, and Yahoo telling web authors "go forth and markup your pages per the specifications at schema.org and we'll understand them."

Schema.org and microdata provides a very interesting alternative for federated, human readable, and searchable provider directory information.   We'll be discussing it at the HIT Standards Committee on Wednesday.


Pete O'Toole said...


Do you think semantically-tagged html is a possible solution for federation of clinical systems using an internal search engine?

I have often thought semantic web technologies might enable search-based integration in healthcare as an alternative to the many point-to-point interfaces that duplicate clinical data.

geekgoalie said...

I see potential for fraud and abuse in this scheme. This would work as long as no one tries game the system by posting untrue information in this.