What's the Problem?
Continued growth of the Web of Data/Semantic Web is heavily dependent on the availability of vocabularies/ontologies that can be used to publish data. While a number of key vocabularies are in widespread use, there are also many areas with little or no vocabulary coverage, hindering the ability to publish data in these domains.
Peter Mika outlines some of the issues he sees with the current state of vocabularies on the Semantic Web in his blog post What’s wrong with vocabularies on the Semantic Web?
What is VoCamp?
VoCamp is a series of informal events where people can spend some dedicated time creating lightweight vocabularies/ontologies for the Semantic Web/Web of Data. The emphasis of the events is not on creating the perfect ontology in a particular domain, but on creating vocabs that are good enough for people to start using for publishing data on the Web. The intention is to follow a "paper first, laptops second" format, where the modelling is done initially on paper and only later committed to code. The VoCamp idea is influenced by BarCamp, although the emphasis is different. Whereas BarCamps are oriented to demos and presentations, VoCamps are oriented to hands-on technical work and practical outputs; any presentations and demos should be short, highly on-topic to the vocabulary development process, and limited in number, to leave plenty of time for hacking on new vocabularies.
The first VoCamp event took place in Oxford, UK in September 2008 (VoCampOxford2008), the second took place in Galway, Ireland in November 2008 (VoCampGalway2008), and the third, and first ever in the US took place in Austin, Texas (VoCampAustin2009) followed immediately by another one in Ibiza, Spain in April 2009 (VoCampIbiza2009). But you can run your own VoCamp too...add it to this list!