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India’s first Web Observatory was launched at the International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore (IIIT-B) today.
The Web Observatory was launched by Prof. Sadagopan and Prof. Dame Wendy Hall at a workshop on Web Science attended by UK and Indian scientists, and organised by IIIT-B and the British High Commission. The Web Observatory provides a global, distributed analytics platform that not only provides access to datasets of various sizes but also in helping analyse the web.
The Web Observatory has been set up in partnership with the Web Science Trust, the University of Southampton and other global Web Science laboratories. The Web Observatory is planned to be a world-wide grid, hosting datasets relevant to Web Science research.
IIIT-B will host the first such node of the grid in India and will be managed by the Web Sciences Lab at the Institute. At the launch, Prof. S Sadagopan, Director of IIIT-B stressed the growing importance of Web Science research. He noted that the web is increasingly impacting us in a comprehensive fashion - be it in business, governance or in our personal lives. Web Science is a new discipline that aims to understand the web in all its dimensions. For a growing economy like India, the web can act as a much needed game-changer that can empower both individual liberty and collective good. To enable this, we need a comprehensive understanding of the web.
Prof. Dame Wendy Hall, Executive Director of the Web Science Institute at the University of Southampton, who attended the launch, said:
I’m really excited about the launch of the Web Observatory in India at IIIT-Bangalore. The web has changed our lives irrevocably and it is so important that we understand how this is happening, so that we can better forecast what might happen in the future. The Web Observatory is crucial to providing the data and data analytics to support evidence based policy making and business intelligence in the future.
It is also crucial that this is a global effort and it is wonderful to see the development of the Observatory at IIIT-Bangalore as the first step of the evolution of a network of Web Observatories throughout India. Similar Web Observatories exist in European, SE Asia and US universities.
The International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore a deemed University, popularly known as IIIT-B, was established in 1999 with a vision to contribute to the IT world by focusing on education and research, entrepreneurship and innovation. The Institute is a registered not-for-profit society funded jointly by the Government of Karnataka and the IT industry.
Since its inception, IIIT-B, with its unique model of education, research, and industry interaction, has grown in stature to become an institution of considerable repute in academic as well as corporate circles. The Institute works in partnership with the corporate sector, while retaining the freedom of an academic institution.
The Web Science Trust (WST) is a charitable body with the aim of supporting the global development of Web Science through a network of world class laboratories known as WSTnet. It is hosted by the University of Southampton. The origins of the Web Science Trust can be found in the Web Science Research Initiative (WSRI) which was established in 2006 and now in 2015 it has assembled 16 world-class international research groups and a series of international teaching and research events.
The Web Observatory is global, distributed data and analytics resource for the advancement of economic & social prosperity by empowering governments, businesses and individuals to engage in Web analytics. Sponsored by the Web Science Trust, a global not for profit institution with a secretariat at the University of Southampton that can leverage the Web Science research resources of the 15 university labs affiliated with the Web Science Trust (WSTnet) including Brazil, China, Korea, Europe and US, and the existing partnerships with W3C and the Web Foundation.
Stuart Adam, Head,
Press and Communications
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