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Semantic Web for the Working Ontologist, 2nd Edition by James Hendler, Dean Allemang

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Namespaces, URIs, and Identity

The essence of the merge comes down to answering the question “When is a node in one graph the same node as a node in another graph?” In RDF, this issue is resolved through the use of Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs).

In the figures so far, we have labeled the nodes and edges in the graphs with simple names like Shakespeare or Wales. On the Semantic Web, this is not sufficient information to determine whether two nodes are really the same. Why not? Isn’t there just one thing in the universe that everyone agrees refers to as Shakespeare? When referring to agreement on the Web, never say, “everyone.” Somewhere, someone will refer not to the historical Shakespeare but to the title character of the feature film ...

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