I went to a Semantic Web meetup event on Tuesday where Mike Bennett of the EDM introduced an ontology for managing financial sector information that he has been developing.

It is always reassuring to discover that people working in completely different industries are facing the same challenges. Handling multiple viewpoints and the need to keep provenance of terminology well defined and clear was a key theme, as terms like “equities” can mean very different things in different contexts. Mike defined his own “archetypes” and used an “upper ontology” to act as an umbrella to connect other ontologies. I was particularly interested in the discussion of solutions for managing synonyms, one of which included a quite sophisticated use of RDF.

It was also interesting to hear Mike’s explanations of his use of taxonomies within the ontology and of the ingenious ways he finds to present his ideas to business people who don’t speak OWL!