Query formulation is a key aspect of information retrieval, contributing to both the efficiency and usability of many semantic applications. A number of query languages, such as SPARQL, have been developed for the Semantic Web; however, there are, as yet, few tools to support end users with respect to the creation and editing of semantic queries. In this paper we introduce a graphical tool for semantic query construction (NITELIGHT) that is based on the SPARQL query language specification. The tool supports end users by providing a set of graphical notations that represent semantic query language constructs. This language provides a visual query language counterpart to SPARQL that we call vSPARQL. NITELIGHT also provides an interactive graphical editing environment that combines ontology navigation capabilities with graphical query visualization techniques. This paper describes the functionality and user interaction features of the NITELIGHT tool based on our work to date. We also present details of the vSPARQL constructs used to support the graphical representation of SPARQL queries.
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