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CSIRO in global push to develop the Web

CSIRO hosts the Australian World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Office, developing common protocols promoting the evolution of the Web and ensuring its interoperability.

  • 14 February 2011 | Updated 14 October 2011

The Australian W3C Office is the national contact point for World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) activities in Australia.

Australian W3C Office

Since 2005 the Australian W3C Office has been hosted by CSIRO.

Other member organisations include:

  • Department of Finance and Deregulation
  • Media Access Australia
  • National ICT Australia
  • Vision Australia.

Australian members have a great track record developing:

  • scalable vector graphics (allowing images to be resized without loss of quality)
  • semantic web (one with enhanced, automated search functionality) for health care and life sciences
  • policy-aware Web (a way for information to be shared in a trusted manner without the need for specific arrangements to be made)
  • Web accessibility guidelines.

Incubator groups

The W3C encourages member organisations to pool resources and form incubator groups to work towards one of their goals.

CSIRO co-chairs the W3C's Semantic Sensor Network Incubator Group with Wright State University and Open Geospatial Consortium Inc.

The Australian W3C Office has been hosted by CSIRO since 2005.

As networks of sensors are increasingly used to monitor such things as environmental variables it's becoming very important that standards be developed so data from different networks can be integrated.

The semantic sensor networks incubator group is:

  • developing ontologies for describing sensors
  • extending Sensor Markup Language (SML) to support semantic annotations.

About the W3C

The W3C is an international body encouraging further development of the Web.

It does this by developing:

  • specifications
  • guidelines
  • software
  • tools.

The W3C's goals are:

  • universal access – making network accessible information available regardless of  hardware, software, network infrastructure, language, culture, location, or physical or mental ability
  • to build a semantic web – one written in a language that computers understand (like RDF and XML) to help with tasks such as searching
  • to ensure trust – creating a collaborative environment that offers confidentiality, instils confidence and means people take responsibility for what they publish
  • interoperability – designing and promoting non-proprietary computer languages and protocols so people can access Web content regardless of their preferred software
  • evolvability – building a Web that can easily evolve into an even better Web, without disrupting what already works
  • decentralisation – reduce the vulnerability of the Web by reducing reliance on centralised facilities
  • cooler multimedia – more interactivity and richer media.

Read more about Wireless sensor networks: a new instrument for observing our world.

Logo of Australian W3C Office.