KnoweScape workshop

Joe Tennis, University of Washington


March 5, 2015. 15.00-17.00 hrs. At the eHumanities group.

Categoriography: Thick Description of Semantics in Long-lived Complex Information Systems

While it is possible to look at how schemes change over time and examine how a subject changes in that context, we are not seeing the entire picture. There are other things we need to know about subjects historically and how they are contextualized in extant systems. We can do this by attempting to describe the nature and characteristics of the system, the variety of ways subjects are seen to interact with each other in the scheme and when applied in the system. We can also dig deep into the relationship between subjects and the texts they represent. In this talk I share the current data I have and ask after the ways in which we can begin this kind of thick description.

Presentation slides

Joseph T. Tennis, PhD
Associate Professor and Director of Faculty Affairs
Information School
University of Washington

International Society for Knowledge Organization


This lecture is part of a 2-day workshop

Evolution and variation of classification systems – how stable is the organization of knowledge and how diverse is its representations? Toward a Metadata Observatory 

Knowescape TD1210 workshop, March 4-5, 2015, DANS & eHumanities group, Amsterdam – Start March 4, 9.30,  at the eHumanities group, Amsterdam

For digital libraries and archives mapping schemas, ontologies, all different kind of Knowledge Organization Systems (KOS) belongs to the daily practice when ingesting information from different sources. In computer science, the technical term for this task is ontology alignment. In particular with the emergence of the semantic web, the need to integrate heterogeneous data into one web of knowledge has grown. Further, these ontologies under revision and change over time. So the complexity of ontology alignment is exacerbated by the challenge of version identification and control. Ontologies have a long history, and are as a topic of reflection situated among philosophy and computer science. However, there is no atlas of ontologies, KOS or metadata schemes nor a registry or index to search across different existing ones, including all versions. The current landscape is a set of isolated registries with disjunct purposes and scopes. We miss a common language to describe basic attributes of KOS, as their knowledge domain specificity, depth, age, or complexity. This workshop explores way to define an attribute space in which KOS can be compared among each other and across time. Inspired by the study of planets and stars in the heavens, the long-term goal is to build a metadata observatory.

As part of the workshop Professor Joe Tennis (University of Washington, Seattle) will give a lecture at the eHumanities research meeting series New trends in eHumanities, March 5, 2015, 15.00-17.00

For the programme see:

The workshop is open. But for reasons of catering, please send a short message to if you want to come and have not been in touch with Andrea yet.