ASIS&T 2008: Web Serivce Apps

Web Service-Based Applications: Optimizing Indexing, Searching, and Terminology Services
Presenters: Diane Vizine-Goetz, Rebecca Guenther, Dongming Zhang

[This session was supposed to start at 3:30, but there were some technical problems. I have to sneak out just before 4:00 to head to the airport, so I hope to be able to hear the first speaker.]

[EDIT 11/3: You might want to find someone else’s notes on this session . . . since I have these I will post them, but I’m not sure what the heck they were talking about.]

[Sponsored by Standards Committee – started with pitch to join committee and explanation of handout that provides info on recently updated standards from W3C and NISO, as well as draft ISO standards & new ISO projects.]

A registry for controlled vocabularies at the Library of Congress
Rebecca Guenther, Library of Congress

-Review: “why bother with controlled vocabularies.”
-Types used in metadata standards: thesauri, code lists, taxonomies, enumerated lists etc.
-enumerated lists – can be as simple as values provided in a drop-down or XML schema. Little add’l info about each values.
-Code lists: some are ISO standards & used worldwide; codes used as identifiers. Example; MARC country codes; ISO 639 language codes. Language-neutral.
-Standards maintained at LoC: MARC, MODS, METS, MIX (XML schema for NISO Z39.87 – technical metadata for still images), PREMIS (preservation metadata), LCSH [yay!], ISO 639-2 language codes; Thesaurus of Graphic Materials.
-Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS): declaring and publishing taxonomies, thesauri or classifictaion schemes for use in distributed, decentralized info systems. (like semantic web). describe concepts and create relationships btw concepts and terms; practical application of RDF. Uses RDF with XML. [Man all these standards & taxonomy(ish?) acronyms just fly out of my head so quickly. RDF? I know I know what that is . . ] [11/3: Oh yeah, Resource Description Framework. Wait, what?]
-Each concept and concept scheme is identified by a URI. Multilingual model.
-Concepts can be labeled with any number of strings. Can’t repeat labels unless have a different XML language code associated with it.
-Heriarchical and associative links. Can group concepts into collections. Can map to different concept schemes.
-SKOS advantages: defined element set (great for controlled vocabs). Can express relationships. “dereferencable URI” helps provide web services for the standards.
-LoC is at prototype stage with use of this: establishing database with controlled vocab values for standards it maintains. [OK, I’m a little lost now. SKOS is a controlled vocabulary for controlled vocabularies?]
-Reasons for development: make controlled lists openly available. Facilitate development & maintenance. Web service with comprehensive info about controlled terms. Experiment with semantic web tech, expose vocabs to wider communities.
-(Went out to LoC front page for registry – has an FAQ.)
-[Wow I am really not sure what is going on. Unfortunately Candy is not here to explain what’s going on to me! I will have to try and look this up later today and see if I can figure out what’s going on.]

11/3: OK, here is what the W3C has to say (in English) about SKOS:

SKOS is an area of work developing specifications and standards to support the use of knowledge organization systems (KOS) such as thesauri, classification schemes, subject heading systems and taxonomies within the framework of the Semantic Web.

So, basically they are using this to make Library of Congress Subject Headings available to anyone via the web in a more usable format than Classification Web?