From Lists to Ontologies

Over at the Taxonomy Blog, Marlene has blogged a progressive list of taxonomy forms (she calls them “taxonomy types”, I’m more comfortable with “forms” or “instances” ). She starts with lists (which I tend to see as building blocks for taxonomies), and helpfully links them to picklists and authority files, then moves on to synonym lists (she’s deepening a sense of taxonomy functionality here), and then hierarchies. She puts facets and thesauri together, which I would separate because they are formally so different, and then deals with ontologies. Despite my quibbles, it’s a useful perspective in terms of showing how increasing complexity deals with greater demands on functionality.

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