The information is all out there. The mission is to make the content – the information – findable by those who need it. Sometimes connecting taxonomies realizes even more value. This interesting topic came to us from The Accidental Taxonomist in their blogpost titled, “Taxonomy Mapping.”

As more taxonomies get created, there is a growing need to map taxonomies to each other. By linking between individual terms or concepts in each taxonomy, it enriches the value of the taxonomies as they are used in combination.

Mapping is not a new practice, but as it has become more frequent, in part due to the number of taxonomies available. Mapping from one classification system or taxonomy to another is especially helpful if an enterprise search is based on federated search and different areas have different search-support thesauri, or if you want to augment either the structure or attributes of a given category schema.

As with all things, standards are very important. The SKOS (Simple Knowledge Organization System) W3C standard was adopted in 2009. The international standard ISO 25964-2 Thesaurus and Interoperability with Other Vocabularies – Part 2: Interoperability with Other Vocabularies is substantially about mapping.

Most commercial taxonomy management software now supports the SKOS standard. However, there are varying features and applications. It is important to select the software that best meets your long-term plan for mapping.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.