India’s first web observatory was launched at the International Institute of Information Technology–Bangalore on Tuesday.
The observatory was launched by Prof S Sadagopan and Prof Dame Wendy Hall at a workshop on web science attended by scientists from India and the United Kingdom, jointly organised by IIIT-Bangalore and the British High Commission.
Sadagopan stressed the growing importance of research in web science and noted that the web, be it in business, governance or in personal life, has had a major role to play. He termed web science a game-changer for a growing economy like India.
Prof Dame Wendy Hall, Executive Director of the Web Science Institute at the University of Southampton, the UK, said, “The web has changed lives irrevocably and the observatory is crucial in providing the data and data analytics to support evidence-based policy making and business intelligence in the future. It is great to see the development of the observatory at IIIT-B as the first step of the evolution of network of web observatories in India.”
The web observatory provides a global, distributed analytics platform that not only provides access to datasets of various sizes but also helps analyse the web.
It 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 worldwide grid hosting datasets relevant to web science research. IIIT-B will host the first such node of the grid in India which will be managed by the Web Sciences Lab.
Similar web observatories exist in European, Southeast Asian and American universities.