SKOS Matures

April 8, 2009

ISKO UK’s SKOS colleague Antoine Isaac advises that after a long gestation period, SKOS (Simple Knowledge Organization System) has matured to become a W3C candidate recommendation. This has been achieved only after an enormous amount of work and endless discussion by the SWD-WG (W3C Semantic Web Deployment Working Group) over several years. To accompany the recommendation, a new Working Draft of the SKOS Primer has also been published.

The SWD-WG is now calling for ‘implementations’. Implementations can include:

  • any vocabulary (thesaurus, classification system, subject heading system, taxonomy or other KOS) or mapping between vocabularies that has been published in the Web as machine-readable data using SKOS, and/or has been made available via programmatic services using SKOS
  • any software that has the capability to read and/or write SKOS data, and/or can check whether a given SKOS dataset is consistent with the SKOS data model
  • Once an appropriate number of implementations and comments have been recorded and verified, the Candidate Recommendation will become a Proposed Recommendation and subsequently a full W3C Recommendation. W3C Recommendations are comparable to standards published by other organizations.

    SKOS will then join other key W3C recommendations such as XHTML, CSS2, GRDDL, SPARQL, SVG, XSLT and of course, XML itself, as building blocks of the Semantic Web.

    We congratulate our SKOS colleagues on a truly impressive achievement.

    SKOS-based Semantic Terminology Services

    April 22, 2008

    {distilled from a posting by Doug Tudhope (University of Glamorgan) to the SKOS mailing list}
    The STAR project has developed a pilot set of semantic web services, based upon the SKOS Core data model for thesauri and related knowledge organization systems. The services currently provide term look up across the thesauri held in the system, along with browsing and semantic concept expansion within a chosen thesaurus. This allows search to be augmented by SKOS-based vocabulary and semantic resources (assuming the services are used in conjunction with a search system).

    In combination with a search system, the services allow queries to be expanded (automatically or interactively) by synonyms or by expansion over the SKOS semantic relationships. Expansion is based on a measure of ‘semantic closeness’. Anyone interested is welcome to inspect the API or download a client demonstrator, which is currently configured to operate with a subset of English Heritage thesauri.

    The work is ongoing and the researchers welcome any feedback or interest in collaboration on developing an API to support a rich range of SKOS use cases.

    Downloads and further details can be found at the Hypermedia Research Unit web site.

    Sharing knowledge about useful KO tools

    December 3, 2007


    At one time or another, we all feel the need for a software tool to support the ways in which we want to gather, store, describe and discover knowledge and information. Something better than bookmarks for instance, able to capture more metadata from a web page than just a URL. Or a way of visualizing semantic structures like taxonomies or file system folder hierarchies which goes beyond the now rather tired metaphor of Windows Explorer.

    It’s useful also to know the cost and licensing arrangements, system requirements, and where to get further information, and maybe a little bit about how it works.

    KO Tools is a newly-proposed KOmmunity supported by the KOnnect blog, which hopes to encourage the collaborative generation and sharing of exactly this type of information through a fully searchable, taggable and user-maintained database called KOOLTools.

    By way of an experiment, KOOLTools employs a novel Web 2.0 technology which is a transportable, fully-featured wiki contained within a single HTML page. This means that the Wiki can be navigated, searched and maintained offline, as well as being distributed (zipped) as a self-contained email attachment or as a downloadable package on a blog or web site.

    If you use or have evaluated a software tool which may be of interest to others, why not share your knowledge with us using KOOLTools?