Ontologies in the Time of Linked Data

Hilary Thorsen, M. Cristina Pattuelli


This paper discusses some of the methodological issues one encounters when creating and using ontologies in the rapidly expanding Linked Open Data (LOD) landscape. Over the years the notion of applied ontologies has transitioned from that of a logically formalized knowledge system with varying degrees of inferencing power to that of a lightweight knowledge representation tool. This shift is reflected in the current lexicon where different actors in the LOD community use the term ontology interchangeably with more generic terms like vocabulary or even namespace or data schema. Applied ontologies have been a key area of research in the context of Semantic Web initiative since the late 1990s. The Semantic Web has recently found a new stream of development in the Linked Data initiative, which is considered its natural evolution (Allemang and Hendler, 2011). While a good deal of literature has been devoted to investigating ontology engineering for the Semantic Web, not enough attention has yet been paid to understanding the nature and role that ontologies play in the linked data context, especially from the lens of knowledge organization research. Based on our ongoing work creating Linked Open Data applications and services for digital resources in the domain of the performing arts, we describe methodological steps and lessons learned in line with the spirit of the linked data initiative, where an agile and pragmatic approach to development is combined with the practice of learning from one another.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7152/nasko.v5i1.15176