Tuesday, 30 September 2008

On presenting UDC summary on the web

This is in relation with Dan's comment the other day. This made me think that it may be good to make UDC 1000 numbers summary available as exports for various kind of interfaces and experiments. He mentioned Library of Congress Subject Headings presented as linked-date using SKOS vocabulary. I think it was Ed Summers who did this interesting application. Anyway I have hardly been at any vocabulary event this year without someone using this as an example. Alistair Miles showed the view of the full data set at SKOS workshop in July in London - viewing LCSH as a canvas with minuscule dots and zooming into the nodes showed labels and links between concepts.

Subject heading systems do not have hierarchical structure but rather many associative linking hence SKOS made LCSH look as if it makes sense semantically - that is at least at first glance. I am curious how a classification scheme (UDC or any other) would look presented graphically in this fashion in comparison. Each class in classification contains all its subordinated classes and is contained in the class above. In this kind of graphical representation it appears that hierarchy has to be represented as concentric circles. Classifications are completely structured, they have larger amount of paradigmatic/vertical relationships, smaller amount of associative relationships and smaller amount of syntagmatic relationships than this is the case with subject headings.

But maybe and for fun once we will have UDC SKOS export it may be interesting to test this.

Because a 1000 data is only a tip of 70000 database - the linking will not be of the same density as it would be with the entire system but would be interesting. Having said that last year MagnaView created a UDC viewer - i.e. a tool that can be used for visual representation of UDC data for desktop applications and that one was rather interesting - and would be worth developing this approach.

With respect to UDC summary interface ... we are getting there. This one will follow good old tree expansion approach something between FATKS project, Swedish/Finnish/Spanish edition online and BSI UDC online. It will be also interesting if we will have time to try subject-alphabetical index and chain index such as the one in FAT-HUM. I think we will add language by language gradually.

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