Sunday, December 13, 2009

Linking to external ontologies

At Omegawiki, it is already possible to add links to Wikipedia and Commons.

In order to be part of the Web 2.0 , we are now considering adding links to external ontologies as well. There are many ontologies out there. For example, there is a small list on Wikipedia. From the discussions we had, there are several ways of linking to them:
  1. We only link to Wikipedia and Commons (this is the current situation).
  2. We link to as many ontologies as we like, as soon as there is a contributor willing to add links to it.
  3. We link to a few ontologies that we consider authoritative or relevant.
  4. We link to only one (or two?) super-ontologies, where we expect that this ontology will link back to other ontologies (and ideally to Omegaiki).
There are problems with each proposition.
  1. Why only Wikipedia and Commons?
  2. If we link to too many ontologies, we cannot keep track of what they are for, and then it is expected that we will be lost in too many links. We also have the risk that some user will come with their favorite ontology that do not bring any information to Omegawiki users, and are therefore useless links.
  3. What is an authoritative ontology? What is relevant? and for what purpose (OmegaWiki users, or automatic processing by programs)? In this case, each ontology of possible interested has to be discussed by the Omegawiki community, and it has to be clear what information it brings.
  4. What is this super-ontology? The name of Opencyc has been proposed. Opencyc links for example to Wikipedia, Umbel, Wordnet and Dbpedia. However, Opencyc does not link for example to geonames.
For more details, you can read and give your opinion on the discussions taking place in the omegawiki beer parlour: here and there.


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