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Symbols and depictions

From: Miles, AJ (Alistair) <A.J.Miles@rl.ac.uk>
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2005 15:26:33 -0000
Message-ID: <F5839D944C66C049BDB45F4C1E3DF89D18DB53@exchange31.fed.cclrc.ac.uk>
To: "'public-esw-thes@w3.org'" <public-esw-thes@w3.org>

Mark wrote: 
> Some remarks concerning Symbolic Labelling (skos:prefSymbol/altSymbol)
> and Depictions (foaf:depiction). From the text it is not completely
> clear to me what the difference is. Is a depiction broader than a
> symbol? (E.g. the concept "love" has a heart as symbol, but a kissing
> couple is a depiction and not a symbol.)

A depiction is an image that 'depicts' something.  I.e. it is a visual
representation of the thing.  A symbolic label is an image that 'denotes'
something.  I.e. it is a sort of name for the thing.
  
For example, I could use an image of the eiffel tower to denote the concept
[skos:prefLabel 'pancakes'; skos:definition 'a very thin flat round cake
made from a mixture of flour, milk and egg, which is fried on both sides'].
In this case the image in question is a depiction of the eiffel tower, but
is being used as a symbolic label for something completely different.  

For example, I could use an image of a heart to denote the concept
[skos:prefLabel 'love'; skos:definition 'The will to extend one's self for
the purpose of nurturing one's own or another's personal growth'].
Technically the image in question is a depiction of a part of the anatomy,
but it is being used as a symbolic label for something completely different.


So a depiction and a symbolic label are different things.

Often in a symbolic concept scheme a concept may have a symbolic label that
also happens to be a depiction of that concept.  For example, I could use a
dog shape as a symbol for the concept [skos:prefLabel 'dogs';
skos:definition 'a common four-legged animal, especially kept by people as a
pet or to hunt or guard things'].  In this case the image is both a
depiction and a symbolic label for the concept.  

However, just because an image is used as a symbolic label for a concept,
does not mean it is necessarily a depiction of that concept.  (i.e.
foaf:depiction should *not* be a super-prop of
skos:altSymbol/skos:prefSymbol).

Does this make sense?

Cheers,

Al.
Received on Monday, 24 January 2005 15:27:09 GMT

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