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2811Re: [TaxoCoP] Happy New Year Fellow Taxonomy Nerds!

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  • Jay Maechtlen
    Jan 4, 2009
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      Nick Berry wrote:
      > I see a long list of esteemed analysts responsible for this banal and
      > shallow treatment of the concept of taxonomy. Quality taxonomies are
      > not now and have never been about "single-hierarchy" - the primary
      > aspect of the hallowed analysts' accusation that implies that taxonomies
      > are overly rigid.
      > Many of us have realized that we can educate until we're blue in the
      > face, but as long as we continue to promote the use of the word
      > "taxonomy," we are left in an awkward position, because the word has
      > both denotative and connotative implications of hierarchy (parent/child,
      > class/object, genus/species). A more accurate word for the information
      > structures that most of us create is "ontology," which implies complex
      > relationship types and the ability to create logical inferences based on
      > the codified relationships among entities and elements that are modeled
      > in this type of knowledge organization system.
      > I think we've outgrown the term Taxonomy. Let's take the leap and call
      > them Ontologies, not only to claim the space but also to silence the
      > dunderheads like these guys (who are decent people, no doubt, just doing
      > their journalistic duty by trying to sensationalize a nonsensational
      > story).
      As other things evolve, perhaps also the meaning of 'taxonomy' should also?
      Or, do you mean that people just don't understand the ways that
      taxonomies have evolved?

      As a taxonomy user/wannabe, it seems to me that a major problem is
      visually representing anything more than a strict hierarchy.

      When playing with Protege a while back, it seemed that any visual output
      was still 2-d.
      Odd. Seems like we could do a lot better.

      Do any of the mapping/km tools know how to generate multi-dimensional
      representations? Acrobat Reader can display really nice 3-D CAD models,
      with layer control and such. This seems like it could be prett handy.

      Or, is the visual representation not so important?


      Jay Maechtlen
      626 444-5112 office
      626 840-8875 cell
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