Working with Semantics: Technology and Tools



Today’s sophisticated information resources are engineered in ways that emphasize relationships between related but disparate data elements. This webinar will focus on the emerging techniques and technologies that support these functionalities. A roundtable of information professionals and developers will discuss the theory and practice of building smart systems in service to the information and research communities. 

Confirmed Speakers:  Heather Hedden, Data & Knowledge Engineer, Semantic Web Company; Margie Hlava, President, Access Innovations; Leslie Johnston, Director of Digital Preservation, National Archives and Records Administration; Jeff Mixter, Lead Software Engineer, OCLC; and Simeon Warner, Associate University Librarian, Cornell University.


Event Sessions

Roundtable Discussion


Leslie Johnston

Director of Digital Preservation
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

The discussion by participants touched on the following:

To begin with, when the information community is talking about semantic technologies, what does that phrase actually encompass?

What do you think users actually understand or expect when you talk about semantic technologies?

How should providers and builders be thinking about the challenge of developing systems that are both sophisticated as well as interoperable?

If the goal is to ensure greater interoperability between disparate environments and systems, what are some of the existing constraints that organizations, agencies, and libraries face?

How well do the traditional building elements of information environments -- taxonomies, ontologies, identifiers, metadata, etc. -- serve in providing greater flexibility of systems?

How much of this is transparent to the user? Is the result for the user greater speed, better results, ease of use? How can we communicate appropriate expectations to the user?

What is the role of standards organizations in assisting the community to move forward with regard to interoperability and creation of a more robust information environment?

Resources shared by our panel:

Shared by speaker Heather Hedden:

Basic Register of Thesauri, Ontologies & Classifications - BARTOC unites information about vocabularies and terminology registries to facilitate use of knowledge organization systems.

Shared by speaker Simeon Warner:

The making of a dream by Laura Wides-Muñoz - Cornell Library Catalog entry of an “undocumented immigrant” in preference to the subject term "illegal alien" that exists in the underlying data.

Shared by speaker Margie Hlava:

AFS Ethnographic Thesaurus - The AFS Ethnographic Thesaurus is a searchable online vocabulary that can be used to improve access to information about folklore, ethnomusicology, cultural anthropology, and related fields.

Additional Information

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