Re: Finding ontology

I could not disagree more. Like most software artifacts, ontologies  
are subject to

1. massive economies of scale (expensive to build, cheap to reproduce)
2. massive network effects, i.e. they become more useful if
a) more people use the same ontology and
b) more people offer complementing products or services for the same  

Designing conceptual schemas that are suited for data reuse is  
difficult, unfortunately.

But 99% of the schemas engineered by people who built their first  
conceptual schema for unsuited for generic reuse of the data.

With poorly designed schemas and linked data, you just move the  
problem from data silos to conceptual silos.

Of course, I am not saying there must be one single ontology for a  
domain. It is perfectly okay to have 50 different properties for  
"weight" or "SSN". But when it comes to defining classes and class  
hierarchies, and generic relationship types, things become more  
difficult than many assume.


On 29.07.2010, at 15:33, Michael Lang Jr. wrote:

> Pierre,
> I would recommend that you, at least initially, build your own  
> ontology.  All use cases are slightly different and it is very  
> unlikely that you will be able to find an ontology that meets your  
> use case exactly.  Also, you do not really get any immediate benefit  
> by reusing an ontology.  The only benefit comes when you want to  
> link your data to other data that is described by the ontology you  
> reuse.  From your description, it does not sound like this is an  
> immediate requirement for you.
> Building your own will save you a lot of time and trouble trying to  
> scour the web for an existing one and it will give you the freedom  
> and flexibility to build the ontology to do exactly what you want it  
> to do.  Later, if you decided you want to link your data up to other  
> data (or someone else wants to do it for you), then you can worry  
> about replacing your ontology with another ontology or mapping to  
> another ontology.  Once you have your ontology built and you use it  
> for awhile, the process of mapping to another ontology will be much  
> easier because you will have a very good understanding of the  
> semantics of your project.
> Mike Lang
> Ontology Architect
> Revelytix, Inc.
> phone: 410-584-0009 (office)
>            443-928-3782 (cell)
> skype: michael.allen.lang.jr
> On Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 5:25 AM, Pierre-Yves <>  
> wrote:
> Hi,
> I am fairly new to the semantic web technology and I am trying to  
> create
> my first rdf file.
> I am trying to describe the project I am working on. This project is
> basically a web-based database front end with some visualization tool
> attached. This project has three instances which I of course would  
> like
> to describe as well.
> At the moment I have been using the doap ontology [1] to define my
> project, I though I could you the same 'project' property to defined  
> the
> deployed instances but I have been advised on irc (#swig) not to do so
> but rather to try to define them as 'deployedInstance' or something
> similar (I was told that 'isInstanceOf' might not be the best choice).
> Now I am trying to find an ontology which would have this property.
> My question is therefore, what is the best way to find an ontology ?  
> Is
> there a website which list the known semantic ontology and their
> properties and would allow to search for one ?
> Of course I would be happy if someone has an idea on an ontology which
> already has this property defined.
> Best regards,
> Pierre
> [1]

Received on Friday, 6 August 2010 13:54:18 UTC