One of the most frequent applications of semantic technologies is search. By semantics we can try to give intelligent answers to search and retrieval requests. Anna Chomse, Industry Head of Travel at Google, at WTM 2014 in London, developed the vision, that the search engine can understand the spoken request of a traveller, anticipate his or her wishes and interest and respond with several alternatives, and offer booking techniques. So in all respects it does the same that a personal travel agent would have done. Many technologies linked to this that are semantic:
- Understanding of natural language (not only language recognition) and the context of a certain query
- Anticipation of the intentions on criteria as time, place, former search queries etc.
- Answers and offers in a structured shape
There are several techniques yet existing that try to solve one of these tasks. Most of the semantic search technologies today try to structure data that were unstructured formerly, combine data from several sources and present them in a structured way (contextual.info, PoolParty, Topic Server “VitosBee” of ip-sharemedia or Fact Finder Travel). They all are able to search closed datasets, crawl public data or even combine both. They usually can handle structured and unstructured data. They may differ in their ability to understand questions in everyday language, to link data to each other or to some ontology. One of the most interesting questions in this context is, which role Google will play in the future search market. Special search, search in limited areas to limited topics becomes much more interesting to companies in the last years. Google could dominate this market or could not. There are numerous alternatives to it.