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Data Web is a government open source project that was started in 1995 to develop open source framework that networks distributed statistical databases together into a seamless unified virtual data warehouse.
Originally funded by the U.S. Census Bureau, with participation at various times by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Centers for Disease Control, Harvard University and other non-profits. The software provides an open source service oriented architecture that pulls data from different data base structures and vendors that normalizes it into a standard stream of data. The normalized stream is intelligent and supports standard transformations, has the intelligence to understand how to geographically map itself correctly using the correct vintage of political geography, understands standard code-sets so that data can be combined in statistical appropriate ways, understands how weight survey data appropriately, understands variance and other appropriate statistical behaviors.
The DataWeb network handles small data sets and very large datasets; including of course the Census. It contains the Tiger GIS mapping files to support appropriate mapping of all of the human based (i.e. political jurisdictions) geography in the United States.
Tim Berners-Lee has suggested that Data Web may be a more appropriate name for the Semantic Web. Tim O'Reilly, who coined the term Web 2.0 has mentioned that the long-term vision of the Semantic Web as a web of data, where sophisticated applications manipulate the data web.
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