Using SKOS as an interface to the Linked Data Cloud

PoolParty 2.7 offers new and comfortable ways to enrich any SKOSSimple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS) is a family of formal languages designed for representation of thesauri, classification schemes, taxonomies, subject-heading systems, or any other type of structured controlled vocabulary. SKOS is built upon RDF and RDFS, and its main objective is to ... thesaurus with additional facts from the semantic webSemantic Web is a group of methods and technologies to allow machines to understand the meaning - or "semantics" - of information on the World Wide Web. The term was coined by World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) director Tim Berners-Lee. According to the original vision, the availability of ... (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, an ontology is a formal representation of knowledge as a set of concepts within a domain, and the relationships between those concepts. It is used to reason about the entities within that domain, and may be used to describe the domain. In theory, an ontology is a "formal, explicit ...) 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”:

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  1. Use even more metadataMetadata is loosely defined as data about data. Metadata is a concept that applies mainly to electronically archived or presented data and is used to describe the a) definition, b) structure and c) administration of data files with all contents in context to ease the use of the captured and ... to describe your resources and improve navigation and semantic searchSemantic search seeks to improve search accuracy by understanding searcher intent and the contextual meaning of terms as they appear in the searchable dataspace, whether on the Web or within a closed system, to generate more relevant results. Author Seth Grimes lists "11 approaches that join ... functionalities significantly
  2. 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
  3. Use linked dataLinked Data is a sub-topic of the Semantic Web. The term Linked Data is used to describe a method of exposing, sharing, and connecting data via dereferenceable URIs on the Web. for data integrationData integration involves combining data residing in different sources and providing users with a unified view of these data. This process becomes significant in a variety of situations both commercial (when two similar companies need to merge their databases) and scientific (combining research ... 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 DBpediaDBpedia is a project aiming to extract structured information from the information created as part of the Wikipedia project. This structured information is then made available on the World Wide Web. DBpedia allows users to query relationships and properties associated with Wikipedia resources, ... 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 CloudLinked Data is a sub-topic of the Semantic Web. The term Linked Data is used to describe a method of exposing, sharing, and connecting data via dereferenceable URIs on the Web..

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).

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PoolParty uses TuQS as very fast linked data lookup service and can harvest data from virtually any linked (open) data source which provides a SPARQLSPARQL is an RDF query language; its name is a recursive acronym that stands for SPARQL Protocol and RDF Query Language. It was standardized by the RDF Data Access Working Group (DAWG) of the World Wide Web Consortium, and is considered a key semantic web technology. On 15 January 2008, SPARQL ...-endpoint, e.g. DBpedia, GeonamesGeoNames is a geographical data base available and accessible through various Web services, under a Creative Commons attribution license., Wordnet, UMBELUMBEL, short for Upper Mapping and Binding Exchange Layer, is an extracted subset of OpenCyc, providing the Cyc data in an RDF ontology based on SKOS, OWL and RDFS. Its purpose is to relate "Web content and data to a standard set of subject concepts [and and] provide a fixed set of reference ... 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.