The challenges in implementing linked data technologies in enterprises are not limited to technical issues only. Projects like these deal also with organisational hurdles to be crossed, for instance the development of employee skills in the area of knowledge modelling and the implementation of a linked data strategy which foresees a cost-effective and sustainable infrastructure of high-quality and linked knowledge graphs. SKOS is able to play a key role in enterprise linked data strategies due to its relative simplicity in parallel with its ability to be mapped and extended by other controlled vocabularies, ontologies, entity extraction services and linked open data.
And here is a short overview over my talk I will give this June in San Francisco at this year´s SemTechBiz:
Knowledge organization systems like taxonomies or thesauri can benefit from linked data approaches and vice versa. In recent years SKOS became very popular in various industries due to its simplicity, not only for information retrieval purposes but also for knowledge modelling itself. For many organizations SKOS turned out to be the entry point to the Semantic Web.
A rather novel approach is to use SKOS as means for data integration. In combination with RDF mapping and linked data alignment technologies complex knowledge bases can be built to use them for the following application scenarios which we will demonstrate by using the PoolParty platform.
• How the creation of thesauri can become more efficient when built upon existing linked data sources
• how SKOS thesauri can be aligned with LOD sources and can be published as an LOD source itself
• How linked data mechanisms can be used to improve decentralized vocabulary management
• How SKOS and linked data alignment can be used for efficient schema mapping and value mapping
• How SKOS thesauri can be enriched with linked data to realise semantic search engines in a very efficient way
• How collaborative platforms like Sharepoint or Confluence can benefit from SKOS based knowledge models in combination with linked data
See all the details of my talk “Linked Data and SKOS. Connecting the dots.”
I hope to see you in San Francisco!
The results of our survey about controlled vocabularies are published on Issuu.
The most interesting part of the results for me in a few words:
In August 2009 the W3C consortium announced the new SKOS standard – developed by the SWDWG – for bridging between the world of knowledge organization systems and the linked data community. Now, nearly two years after, it looks like this standard has well arrived. 48.7% stated that standards like SKOS are very important and 29.1% voted for “relevant”.
We also asked for other standards that are important for the participant’s daily work. From 250 nominations we decided to focus on those that had a score of at least 7. The big three are OWL, RDF and Dublin Core. Others were a variety of ISO terminologies, RSS, SPIN. Remarkable in this context is that SPARQL made it just to 5 mentions.
A couple of additional insights:
– most of our participants do have a clear awareness about controlled vocabularies and 85,4% are using them in their organization
– the bigger the organization the longer controlled vocabularies are used
– taxonomies and ontologies seem to be the preferred knowledge models
– semantic search, data integration and structure for content navigation are the main application areas for controlled vocabularies
– application areas like recommender systems, autocomplete suggestions and support for multilingual search are not seen as very relevant
– linked data is valued very positively as a future topic
– thesauri will support search engines in the near future to improve search results
– experience with controlled vocabularies is varying considerably among the branches
– there is a high awareness for standards like SKOS; the web-paradigm has entered the world of controlled vocabularies
– controlled vocabularies are no more locked in academic frames, they have also arrived in enterprise areas
Enjoy reading the full report!
The new PoolParty Release 2.8 is available now and offers many new features and improvements:
- Import and export subtrees and concept schemes
- Create sub-properties for relations
- Add notes to concepts (Change/Editorial/History notes)
PoolParty 2.7 offers new and comfortable ways to enrich any SKOS thesaurus with additional facts from the semantic web (see: LOD cloud). This functionality (which was extended significantly with version 2.7 in June 2010) supports any thesaurus manager to generate much richer knowledge models (ontologies) around specific domains than ever before (without facing high extra costs due to additional research). There are at least three arguments why one should consider building such “extended thesauri”:
- Use even more metadata to describe your resources and improve navigation and semantic search functionalities significantly
- Publish (at least) parts of your metadata / knowledge models as linked (open) data to stimulate innovative services around your contents on top of network effects
- Use linked data for data integration and semantic mashups; combine your own contents with contents from the web to improve your business intelligence
A short example: Just imagine you are working on a knowledge model in the area of “Skiing in Austria”. You have stated that one of Tyrols´s (most famous) skiing areas is “Kitzbühel“. By looking up at geonames.org you get extra metadata, e.g. alternate labels like “Kitzbichl” or longitude and latitude to display the concept on a map. In a next step you add famous Austrian skiers like “Hermann Maier” and “Franz Klammer“. From DBpedia you retrieve additional category information like Maier is a “Person born in 1972“, thumbnail pictures and also some links to other linked data sources, e.g. to the New York Times. Here we can learn that the NYT has mentioned Hermann Maier in 14 articles already. Finally we can add “Toni Sailer” as a third skier and we will find out by harvesting linked data that he was born in Tyrol and therefore we can add a new relation in our thesaurus between him and Tyrol.
We have learned: Linked Data can help us to build expressive knowledge models by using SKOS as an “interface” to the Linked Data Cloud.
SKOS thesauri can not only serve as a backbone for rich metadata structures to improve search applications but also as a new linked data source to be published and to be linked with other semantic data. PoolParty 2.7 follows many suggestions from “Linked Data Patterns” (edited by Leigh Dodds and Ian Davis) how linked data should be published. For instance, there are various ways with PoolParty 2.7 to identify resources, e.g. via “Patterned URIs” or via “Literal Keys” (see, for example, http://vocabulary.semantic-web.at/SemanticWebThesaurus/controlledvocabulary).
PoolParty uses TuQS as very fast linked data lookup service and can harvest data from virtually any linked (open) data source which provides a SPARQL-endpoint, e.g. DBpedia, Geonames, Wordnet, UMBEL or PoolParty sources themselves.
Don´t forget: SKOS stands for Simple Knowledge Organization System, thus PoolParty was designed as an easy-to-use Linked Data and Thesaurus Editor and Publishing System.