Implementing a Government-wide Semantic Solution to Thesauri

Track: Government, Metadata and Semantics, Knowledge Management

Audience Level: High Level/Technical view

Time: Tuesday, November 15 11:00

Author: Kenneth Sall, SAIC

Author: Ronald Reck, RRecktek LLC

Keywords: Thesauri, SKOS, RDF, Semantic Web, Ontology, W3C XML Schema, Case Studies, Content Conversion, Dublin Core, Enterprise Content Management, Knowledge Management, Metadata, XSLT, XSL-FO, SOAP, Java, Perl, Web Services, Query Language


The traditional approach to federal glossaries and acronym lists has been to use HTML, Microsoft Word, Excel, or PDF. This paper describes how a strawman DTD developed into a XML Schema based upon ISO and ANSI standards for thesaurus concepts and terminology. This in turn became a stepping stone for a pilot implementation using RDF-based SKOS (Simple Knowledge Organization System), an emerging specification from the W3C. The thesaurus approach developed by the authors enables term gatherers and authors to input terms and definitions via Excel, via a web form, or by using RDF editors. This flexibility accommodates authors with no XML skills as well as those who are XML adept. Semantic technology can be applied to the SKOS markup to extract associated terms, as well as terms that are broader or narrower in meaning than a given concept.