Open Calais - a new and smart API from Reuters - finally does what critics say to be the greatest obstacle to the Semantic Web: Taking the metadata burden from the end-user by providing an automatic meta-tagging tool. The principle behind Open Calais is easy: Put in some unstructured text and get in return nicely structured RDF-data. Backed by powerful Text Mining and machine learning techniques the API automatically detects entities like persons, events, countries and other facts.
Open Calais takes account of the fact that the added value of content is hidden in its structure. Uncovering that structure and representing it in a interoperable format makes existing resources more programmable and reusable.
But what is in for Reuters? Nothing less than the biggest structured content repository on the web. Should not we talk about this little fact as well?