Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Towards a semantic wiki

For the last four years I have been involved in setting up and mainatining data dictionaries for organizations. Although some of the projects I have participated in have been sucessful, some have been dramatically slowed by the time it takes for people to contribute their content. Last week as I was donating $50 to the wikimedia foundation I came accross an entry to the effect of "On with the Semantic Wiki". I was shocked! They stole my idea! So here is what I would like: Make it easy for anyone (with appropriate registration) to comment on, extend or change a Data Element in metadata registry. Make it easy for people to add relationships (subclassOf, contained in, enumerated value of code etc.) that would conform to some of the properties in an ISO metadata registry. Now here is where it gets exciting. After you add an attribute, how about being able to run a "consistancy check"? What if there are duplicate entries for similar concepts? What if there are conflicts? What if you added a property to a class that did not exist? What if it gets removed? How could you find similar data elements? It should be easy to back out your changes (aka a revert). It should be similary to using Wikipedia's template: where you fill out a form. Anyway it turns that some other very visionary wikipedians have also been thinking about these things. Here are a few interesting links: Semantic Wiki http://www.cfcl.com/rdm/weblog/archives/000902.html Swiki ListServ

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