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Lost in annotation? A publish–subscribe extension for Semantic MediaWiki vocabulary management system.
The exploitation of biodiversity data is today difficult because current databanks are multi-observer, multi-area, multi-site as well as multi-annual with multiple data underlying models as well. While data integration and analysis are currently based on data annotation, produce reusable, i.e. well define metadata is time and effort consuming for fieldworkers.
Importance of shared controlled vocabularies to address the issue of data heterogeneity for unifying data models and describing metadata has been amply demonstrated [ref]. Recent works describe many tools that offer collaborative edition and sharing of controlled vocabularies ([ref]Gbif, thesauform, agrovoc). Among them, Semantic MediaWiki (SMW) seems to be a good candidate and a strong trend for supporting vocabulary creation, linking, and maintenance [ref gbif].
While imagining these collaborative editors meet with a huge success and biodiversity people agree on one or more controlled vocabularies, a crucial point remains to be addressed; it concerns the adoption and the use of these vocabularies by all the domain stakeholders and specifically fieldworkers that are mostly far from the priority of data interoperability.
To address these vocabulary adoption and use issues, we are currently building a tool that aims to easily annotate biodiversity data while connecting to existing controlled vocabularies. Developed as an extension of SMW, this tool will offer the possibility for a database to be connected with a vocabulary, a vocabulary branch or a set of concepts and properties from a SMW vocabulary management system.