Do taxonomies work in an (open) semantic web? And how can these often isolated and rigid knowledge systems be effectively applied to a world of transient information? In this article, Fran Alexander, Taxonomy Manager at the BBC, discusses the ongoing importance of taxonomies in the management of information and how the taxonomy can be an application for an open world.
“What you need to do is to create a system that can include different pace layers so that you get the benefits of a stable taxonomy, with the rapid reactiveness of folksonomy as well as quick and easy free text search. You can think of your taxonomy as the centre of a coral reef, but coral is alive and grows following the currents and the behaviour of all the crazy fish and other organisms that dart about around it. It’s hard to pin down the crazy fish and other creatures, but they feed the central coral and keep it strong. In practice, this means incorporating multiple taxonomies and folksonomies and mapping them to one another, so that everyone can use the taxonomy and the terminology that they prefer. Taxonomy mapping tools require human training and human supervision, but they can lighten the load of the labour intensive process of mapping one taxonomy to another.” [Read More]
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