WAND Offers Taxonomy Primer and More

November 7, 2012

It has been a while since we checked out the WAND taxonomy service Web site. Our recent revisit turned up a new look, as well as some useful features. There are hot links to Wand vocabularies for SharePoint and other high profile systems that are worth a look. Also helpful is their Business Directories page. The site even provides a link to the free, open-source taxonomy management tool Protégé.

Perhaps the most useful (free) offering, though, is the clear explanation on WAND’s Taxonomy 101 page. This is a great place to send anyone looking for the basics. It gives a good definition of the term, explains the differences between a taxonomy, a thesaurus, and an ontology, and describes what a taxonomy is good for. Here’s an example of the explanation’s coherent prose:

“You could think of it as a structured vocabulary. For example, in biology, a commonly used taxonomy is that to describe all plants and animals. Generally, the categories are arranged in parent-child structure that takes the focus from broadest to most narrow. Again, to use the example of biology, the Plant and Animal taxonomy starts out at the highest level of Kingdom, and continues down through Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus until finally reaching the lowest level of Species. Each category may have its own set of synonyms to account for different ways of expressing the same concept.”

For folks who want more information, including example business-use cases, the page offers the podcast of a ten-minute interview WAND did with the Business Intelligence Network.

Based in Denver, Colorado, WAND has been in operation since 1998. They have built structured multi-lingual vocabularies and the tools and services to go with them. These taxonomies, available in eleven languages, are used in various search environments, including many industry-specific, vertical systems.

Cynthia Murrell, November 07, 2012

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext


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