The MultimediaN E-culture Project has won the first prize at the Semantic Web Challenge at the 5th International Semantic Web Conference held in Athens, Georgia, USA. This international competition aims to advance our understanding of how explicit, machine processable descriptions of data can be exploited on the Web. To qualify, applications should integrate, combine, and deduce information from heterogeneous and distributed sources in an open environment to assist users in specific tasks, potentially unforeseen by the original authors of the underlying Web content.
The 2006 challenge attracted 18 submissions from all over the world. The winning application this year was built by a team of Amsterdam researchers from CWI, UvA and VU, in close cooperation with Dutch cultural heritage organizations DEN and ICN. The application shows how online collections from various musea can be better explored over the Web.
The prize was handed out to the E-Culture team members Guus Schreiber and Jacco van Ossenbruggen during the closing ceremony of the conference, which was attended by 550 people from the US, Europe and Asia. Subsequently, they gave a live demo in which they showed how sample searches for Picasso and for an image depicting Paris are handled by the E-Culture system. The system had also been demonstrated earlier in the week at the special Challenge session on 7 November 2006.