A couple of weeks ago I received an invitation from the FAO AIMS team to make a presentation on the management of Knowledge Organization Systems (KOSs), as a part of a series of Webinars. Many people know how I feel when it comes to FAO: as a student of agricultural sciences I used to consider FAO as the centre of agricultural decision making and I still remember my recent visit to the FAO HQ in Rome (during the VOA3R 7th Project Meeting) which sent shivers down my spine each time I walked up and down the building.. I felt honoured to receive the invitation and could not refuse of course; I still have a crush on FAO!
Despite the fact that I do not have a background in knowledge management or ontology engineering, I have found myself involved with ontologies and KOSs rather often mainly as a domain expert; my first attempt was with the Organic.Edunet ontology back in the years of the Organic.Edunet project, then I got the opportunity to be involved in the development of a number of small, domain-specific ontologies for the VOA3R project (aquaculture, viticulture, organic agriculture and ICT in agriculture) and recently contributed to the corresponding agINFRA deliverable describing the publication of KOSs as linked data, along with an analysis of the KOS used by the agINFRA data providers. At the same time, I was heavily involved in the Organic.Edunet ontology evolution which took place in the context of the Organic.Lingua project and included a significant update/revision of the ontology in several aspects, like multilinguality (translation of concepts in additional languages), deprecation of existing concepts and refinement of existing ones (depending on their usage) etc.
In any case, I thought that the best approach for this case would be to make it a presentation on the Organic.Edunet ontology management/evolution, a case that I know pretty well and I could present in details. Indeed, the Webinar on the Organic.Edunet ontology management and evolution, titled “Knowledge Organization Systems (KOS): Management of Classification Systems in the case of Organic.Edunet” took place on 21/2/2014 using the Adobe Connect platform of FAO AIMS. Despite the connection issues I faced throughout the Webinar (I think I got disconnected 2-3 times, a fact which disorganized me…), everything went pretty well and you can see the recording of the webinar below (as well as through the FAO AIMS page of the webinar).
(please make sure to watch the video from the beginning!)
The presentation included a short introduction to KOS and some of the open source tools used for the management of KOS before focusing on the Organic.Edunet ontology evolution and the MoKi tool used for this purpose.
The next steps in the ontology evolution, as described in the slides include additional translations, minor revision of concepts and the publication of the ontology as linked data; we still have to define a valid namespace and fine tune some details. Apart from that, we plan to map the Organic.Edunet ontology to additional related ontologies and KOSs. At the same time, we are working on a similar approach in the agINFRA project but with different “raw” material. In all cases, the ontologies and other KOSs act as the “backbone” of the linked data approach that we are applying in several cases and this could only highlight the importance of the ontology management.
Overall, the webinar was a really nice experience despite the technical difficulties and provided an opportunity for us to expose a part of the work that took place in the context of the Organic.Lingua project. Since we are also doing a related work in the context of the agINFRA project, I expect that we will have material to present in the next months, probably through another Webinar @ FAO AIMS.