The value of a dataset may be determined by any number of factors, however it can generally be agreed upon that the data's accuracy, how difficult it is to re-create, its source, and other important factors can affect the value of the data. However, as technology evolves to allow easier access to the information we require, the value of dataset may eventually decrease over time.
The Semantic Web opens doors and changes the playing field in a dramatic way. Factors such as accuracy, difficulty of acquisition or re-creation, and the author's authority in a particular knowledge domain become less important when all information becomes mixed, connected, and homogeneous. The ability to harvest new and non-obvious types of data from the Semantic Web will turn data into more of a commodity than any past advancement in technology.
Take for example a few interesting datasets:
Each of the above examples are difficult to re-create and have high levels of accuracy, making the data valuable to anyone wishing to use it. As information such as this becomes easier to access, re-create, and extend the value of these datasets decreases over time.
It is my prediction that the value of datasets will decrease over time, simply because we are moving in the direction of an interconnected "Web as a database" and data silos are becoming irrelevant to the future of the Web.
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