Semantic wikis is a description of how semantic technology could be used to overcome retrieval problems in large-scale resources – in this case medical information. Once we start looking at DNA there is just so much data that we have to find clever ways of organising it. An excellent post from a fascinating and highly entertaining blog that ranges over many subjects.
The Cleverest Thing That Never Existed. The author – Charlie Hull – doesn’t hold out much hope for the semantic web! Dismissing semantic web technologies as marketing spin, he argues that existing search engines are already searching “semantically” (he is himself a producer of search technologies at Lemur) and can provide cheaper and easier KO solutions.
The Taxonomy Tango discusses a multi-taxonomy management method and tool invented by Mobile Content Networks. “People are just getting comfortable with their own taxonomies and now they are realizing the world is full of taxonomies”, MCN CTO Phyllis Reuther is quoted as saying.
“MCN Query Broker and Taxonomy Engine enables MobileSearch.net to make real-time queries to any number of relevant content sources, return results from those sources, and then group, sort, and rank results according to advanced algorithms and partner rules”, according to the MCN website.
It would be interesting to know more about the rules that power this. MCN provide some pretty diagrams, which say things like it classifies, it sorts, but only question marks where the “magic ” happens!
The ISKO UK event Sharing vocabularies on the web via simple knowledge organisaton system (SKOS) was another roaring success, with great speakers and a very high calibre audience. If you’ve been reading up on knowledge organisation and want your books signed by the authors, an ISKO meeting is the place to go! The SKOS event, on Monday 21st July, was very detailed and technical, but understandable enough for novices to the subject to appreciate, and a great way of getting a handle on some of the key concepts. The first speaker was Alistair Miles from the University of Oxford who is using SKOS to get biological research (specifically into fruit flies) onto the semantic web. His colleague Antoine Isaac talked about transforming exisiting knowledge organisation systems into a semantic web format. Stella Dextre Clarke, Leonard Will, and Nicolas Cochard talked about the new British Standard (BS8723) for thesaurus creation that they have been compiling. It is in the process of being turned into an ISO standard. They also explained its relationship to SKOS. Ceri Binding and Douglas Tudhope from the University of Glamorgan then described their STAR project for managing archaeological information using SKOS. Finally Bernard Vatant from Mondeca explained that you don’t have to choose between SKOS and OWL – you can use both.
The event ended with a panel session for questions and answers and then networking over wine and nibbles.
Simple Knowledge Organisation and the Semantic Web. This short paper is a concise introduction to SKOS and the Semantic Web, introducing the Resource Description Framework (RDF) and Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs).