Friday, 27 March 2009

Wikipedia as a good PSI-source?

I stumbled upon an interesting discussion in the blogpost Wikipedia - A Democratic Gold Standard for Topic Maps, where Vegard Sandvold suggests that the Topic Maps community "should adopt Wikipedia as it’s democratic and user-generated repository of topic PSI’s". (Lars Marius Garshol wrote a good blogpost about the general idea behind PSIs)

Steve Pepper disagrees, and argues that ideally the PSD (Published Subject Descriptor) should incude the minimum of information needed to unambiguously identify the subject.

Robert Engels then enters the discussion and argues from the RDF point of view.

My view is that I would currently use Wikipedia, because on some subjects it's the best source I got. I agree with Steve Pepper, but imagine that it could be useful in some contexts to be a bit fuzzy on purpose. A widely defined and a bit fuzzy subject might be exactly want we want, to be able to "start a conversation".

Friday, 13 March 2009

Exploring Semantic Mashups in the Wandora Workshop at Topic Maps Norway 2009

I really look forward to the Wandora workshop at Topic Maps Norway 2009 / Emnekart 2009 on March 18, as I have wanted for some time to play a bit with Wandora.

Wandora is an Open Source Java application made mainly for building and managing topic maps, but I think of it as a more general semantic toolbox, and think that exploring Wandora as a semantic extraction tool will be fun.

Wandora has a graphical user interface and several data storage options. Wandora both reads and exports the Topic Maps formats LTM and XTM along with the N3 RDF-format, which should make it a very useful toolbox.

The workshop will explore Wandora as a tool for extracting information from open web sources using some of the many built-in extractors to generate topic maps. It will demonstrate how to use Wandora to do semantic mashups. This is a hands-on workshop, which I imagine should be interesting both to TM developers, Semantic Web developers and developers who knows web 2.0 style mash-ups.

I have a dream of one day converting my well-tagged mp3-collection to a topic map, mash it up with open music information, and explore the new exciting possibilities for navigation and search, which would make iTunes look rather dull.

The workshop will focus on a few of the many interesting Wandora extractors to generate and merge topic maps. The list of available Wandora extractors is impressive, and keep on growing with every new release:

  • MP3 ID3 metadata
  • JPEG metadata
  • PDF metadata
  • FreeDB (music CD metadata)
  • XML feeds
  • Internet Movie Database datafiles
  • Converts and imports any SQL database to a topic map
  • BibTeX
  • Flickr
  • YouTube
  • Digg and
  • Geonames
  • Wikipedia extractor and a more general MediaWiki extractor
  • Wordnet
  • OpenCalais classifier
  • OpenCyc extractor
  • RSS 2.0 and Atom feeds
  • Convert emails and email repositories to a topic map
  • Convert file system structures to a topic map
  • Microformat extractors:
    • Convert geo microformat snippets to topic maps
    • Convert hcalendar microformat snippets to topic maps
    • Convert hcard microformat snippets to topic maps

A Vision for a Topic Maps World

Graham Moore is giving a presentation at Topic Maps Norway 2009 / Emnekart 2009 next week, which is not to be missed:

A Vision for a Topic Maps World

Graham Moore, NetworkedPlanet

Topic Maps has been successful in delivering value in the context of content management, intranets and web publishing. In these contexts it has provided value in terms of improved navigation and findability of content. However, the scope of these projects has been limited, and it could be argued that Topic Maps has simply created better managed, and more useful silos of content. This talk presents a vision and concept for enabling Topic Maps in a global context.

We describe how the fundamental concept of Topic Maps, the separation of identity from addressing, can be taken and utilised in a global scale. This vision includes how people, who have invested in Topic Maps in the small, can contribute and benefit from this step change in the scope of Topic Maps usage.