Sunday, May 11, 2008

Semantic Tagging Projects

As I mentioned in the last post, I've recently discovered a few other social bookmarking services that utilize semantic tags. (Though they all have their own take on what "semantic" means of course). Here are some links to the ones I've found so far, please let me know if I've missed any.

  1. ZigTag is ".. an intelligent, semantic, social tagging and bookmarking service". ZigTag is a new company, based in Edmonton, that seems to be seeking to replace Delicious as the de facto standard for social bookmarking on the web. Its semantic tags are drawn from its own database, culled automatically from public sources and soon to be made API accessible. The service works as a FireFox (Explorer in development) side-bar extension and as a bookmarklet. They are currently in private beta.
  2. Fuzzy is "a Web 2.0 organic ontology collaborative socio-semantic polyscopic web research project". It is currently the product of Roy Lachica, a graduate student at the University of Oslo. The description of the project on the about page of the website is, intentionally I believe, fuzzy... but I did gather that the representation used for the semantic tags is based on topic maps and that the tags are created by the users using editing tools available on the website. I found it a bit strange that the tagging activity seems to be separate from the bookmarking activity. When I went to add a bookmark, the bookmarklet let me specify the URL, a name, whether it was private, a description, what kind of resource it was {webpage, tool, video, etc.}, geographic context, mood {fact, fun, business, or compassion}, knowledge type {why and if, how, what where who when} and details level {overview, detailed}. However, there wasn't any option to tag the post. This happens later on, within the context of the fuzzzy website. This seems to be part of their drive to get users actively editing their "folktology" of tags. For more info, have a look at a fuzzzy conference paper.
  3. If Fuzzzy is semantic tagging, then I think Bibsonomy must also be classified as such because it does allow its users to establish relationships between the tags. Bibsonomy is also an academic project and one that has been operational for several years.
  4. SemKey is (was?) an Italian academic project that utilizes WordNet and Wikipedia topics as its sources of semantic tags. It was actually presented at the 2007 World Wide Web conference while I was attending a different workshop.. I can't believe I missed it! A quick search didn't turn up any working versions, but they may be lurking out there somewhere.
  5. Faviki is the latest semantic tagging project to emerge. It is a google-app engine project that utilizes DBpedia as its source of semantic tags. One thing that I didn't like about it was that there currently doesn't appear to be any way to use tags that aren't in the database. Given my experience so far with the entity describer, which accesses about a million more topics then faviki, I think this is a mistake. I often want to tag with terms that I can't find for some reason such as "social semantic tagging"..
  6. MOAT looks like yet another semantic tagger, but it seems to be pushing to be more of a software framework than a distinct application. Interesting that another PhD student that seems to be about the same academic age as me came up with a nearly identical idea. Clearly the time has come! Looks like a nice clean, swebby implementation. Uncertain if anyone is using it.
  7. RichTags started as Masters thesis project and now seems to be incorporated specifically into a project to improve the navigation of digital repositories. Users create tags and link them up via SKOS relations (synonymy, broader, narrower, etc.).
  8. The two versions of the entity describer are both semantic tagging extensions built on top of Connotea. The first, now deprecated, version was a greasemonkey script that accessed an RDF database (that we assembled) of ontologies. The second, currently operational, version replaces the connotea bookmarklet with a new one and uses Freebase as its source of semantic tags.

  • There are some examples of full text annotation tools, that basically take the semantic tagging concept inside the document, but I think, for now, I'll keep these in their own class separate from the other plain old URI taggers. One of the oldest and most written about of these tools is Annotea by Marja-Riitta Koivunen.