Many companies and organizations are rolling out taxonomies to capture name lists of business objects as diverse as well logs and pumps. But once you have your list, how do you deploy it in a way that will integrate with other folk’s lists. How do you standardize taxonomy publishing? An answer may be the new, simple knowledge organization system ‘SKOS’ emanating from the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Semantic Web work group.
SKOS is a simple language for expressing the structure and content of thesauri, classification schemes, taxonomies and other controlled vocabularies in a machine-understandable form. SKOS uses the W3C’s Resource Description Framework (RDF) that facilitates linking and merging lists with other lists or data, so that distributed sources of data can be ‘meaningfully composed and integrated’.
RDF has had a poor reception in the IT community which has preferred XML-based lists over the semantic technologies. The workgroup is trying to counter this with a ‘quick guide’ to publishing a thesaurus on the semantic web which describes how to express the content and structure of a thesaurus, and metadata about a thesaurus in RDF. More from www.w3.org/2004/02/skos.
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