Where to Publish and Find Ontologies? A Survey of Ontology Libraries by Natasha F. Noy and Mathieu d’Aquin.
One of the key promises of the Semantic Web is its potential to enable and facilitate data interoperability. The ability of data providers and application developers to share and reuse ontologies is a critical component of this data interoperability: if different applications and data sources use the same set of well defined terms for describing their domain and data, it will be much easier for them to “talk” to one another. Ontology libraries are the systems that collect ontologies from different sources and facilitate the tasks of finding, exploring, and using these ontologies. Thus ontology libraries can serve as a link in enabling diverse users and applications to discover, evaluate, use, and publish ontologies. In this paper, we provide a survey of the growing—and surprisingly diverse—landscape of ontology libraries. We highlight how the varying scope and intended use of the libraries affects their features, content, and potential exploitation in applications. From reviewing eleven ontology libraries, we identify a core set of questions that ontology practitioners and users should consider in choosing an ontology library for finding ontologies or publishing their own. We also discuss the research challenges that emerge from this survey, for the developers of ontology libraries to address.
Speaking of semantic colonialism, this survey is an accounting of the continuing failure of that program. The examples cited as “ontology libraries” are for the most part not interoperable with each other.
Not that I disagree that having greater data interoperability would be a bad thing, it would be a very good thing, for some issues. The problem, as I see it, is the fixation of the Semantic Web community on a winner-takes-all model of semantics. Could well be, (warning, heresy ahead) that RDF and OWL aren’t the most effective ways to represent or “reason” about data. Just saying, no proof, formal or otherwise to be offered.
And certainly there is a lack of data written using RDF (or even linked data) or annotated using OWL. I don’t think there is a good estimate of all available data so it is difficult to give a good figure for exactly how little of the overall amount of data that is in all the Semantic Web formats.
Any new format will only be applied to the creation of new data so that will leave us with the ever increasing mountains of legacy data which lack the new format.
Rather than seeking to reduce semantic diversity, what appears to be a losing bet, we should explore mechanisms to manage semantic diversity.