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Re: [Dbpedia-discussion] Using DBpedia resources as skos:Concepts?

From: Sandhaus, Evan <sandhes@nytimes.com>
Date: Thu, 12 Nov 2009 23:52:45 -0500
To: Mike Bergman <mike@mkbergman.com>, Richard Cyganiak <richard@cyganiak.de>
CC: Ross Singer <rossfsinger@gmail.com>, Bernard Vatant <bernard.vatant@mondeca.com>, Antoine Isaac <aisaac@few.vu.nl>, Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>, SKOS <public-esw-thes@w3.org>
Message-ID: <C722504D.5AFD%sandhes@nytimes.com>
Just a quick thought to throw fuel on the fire with respect to SKOS and
owl:sameAs.

The question is asked.  Can we declare a resource R of type skos:concept to
be owl:sameAs a resource S which is of some "real-world" type (say person,
place, etc)?  To make this assertion, it is argued, would be to assert that
S is a skos:concept, which to many (though not me) seems nonsense.

It is suggested by some that perhaps we instead say that R is
skos:[exactMatch|closeMatch|narrow|broader] to S.  However, it turns out
that the range of these properties is skos:concept, so you are again
asserting that S is of type skos:concept.

So you don't really resolve this dilemma using skos predicates, you just
make it slightly more obscure.

I am of the mind however, that skos:concept(s) need not be mutually
exclusive from their real world counterparts.  After all, when one examines
the indexing vocabulary of (say) a book and finds the subject heading
"United States of America" that heading is at once both a "subject
heading/concept" and - it seems to me - inarguably also a country.  The
fundamental question seems to be can a subject heading at once signify and
be an object.  And, at least to my mind, I think it can.

Does this square with the exact language of the SKOS recommendation?
Probably not, but - since the original intent of skos - was to provide a
framework for expressing indexing vocabularies (knowledge organization
systems), it seems (to me) very much in keeping with the spirit of the
effort.  

Anyways, that's my $0.02.

All the best,

Evan Sandhaus

-- 
Evan Sandhaus
Semantic Technologist
New York Times Research + Development
@kansandhaus
(212)556-3826
Received on Friday, 13 November 2009 16:01:25 GMT

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