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The Resource Description Framework (RDF) is a language for representing information about resources in the World Wide Web. It is particularly intended for representing metadata about Web resources, such as the title, author, and modification date of a Web page, copyright and licensing information about a Web document, or the availability schedule for some shared resource. However, by generalizing the concept of a "Web resource", RDF can also be used to represent information about things that can be identified on the Web, even when they cannot be directly retrieved on the Web. Examples include information about items available from on-line shopping facilities (e.g., information about specifications, prices, and availability), or the description of a Web user's preferences for information delivery.

RDF is intended for situations in which this information needs to be processed by applications, rather than being only displayed to people. RDF provides a common framework for expressing this information so it can be exchanged between applications without loss of meaning. Since it is a common framework, application designers can leverage the availability of common RDF parsers and processing tools. The ability to exchange information between different applications means that the information may be made available to applications other than those for which it was originally created.

RDF is based on the idea of identifying things using Web identifiers (called Uniform Resource Identifiers, or URIs), and describing resources in terms of simple properties and property values. This enables RDF to represent simple statements about resources as a graph of nodes and arcs representing the resources, and their properties and values.


RDFS or RDF Schema is an extensible knowledge representation language, providing basic elements for the description of ontologies, otherwise called RDF vocabularies, intended to structure RDF resources. The first version was published by W3C in April 1998, and the final W3C recommendation was released in February 2004. Main RDFS components are included in the more expressive language OWL.



TRDF, or Temporal RDF is a means of incorporating temporal information such as sequence, periods and versions into the RDF framework.

People & Communities

  • SIOC - Semantically-Interlinked Online Communities ontology specification
  • FOAF - Friend of a friend

See also