Terminology work, in its traditional form, aims to make communication more effective between humans. Ontology work, in turn, aims to present data about concepts in a way that allows even computers to make use of it. In many cases, the purpose of creating an ontology is to enhance data description and data searching and to support a variety of semantic web applications.
As ontology work is about describing concepts, concept analysis – known as an important tool in terminology work – is a suitable method for ontology work as well. In ontology work, especially if the work is based on an index term list, concepts are often described by identifying the generic, associative and partitive relations between the concepts. Additionally, more specific concept relations may be used, and it it also possible to enrich an ontology with concept descriptions in text format for human users. This kind of descriptions, namely definitions and notes, are typical of terminology work as well.
In the same manner as terminology work, ontology work can be organised in the form of a project in which subject field specialists and specialists in concept analysis work together. Organising the work in this way allows the subject field specialists to focus on questions within their expertise and makes the work efficient.
The Finnish Terminology Centre has taken part in projects in which ontologies have been created and tools for the semantic web developed (the projects FinnONTO 1 and FinnONTO 2 in 2004–2012 and the project Linked Data Finland in 2012–2014). Some projects (for example the project Kulttuurisampo-portaali, Culture Sampo portal) have resulted in developing new semantic web applications. Moreover, the Terminology Centre has gained experience in ontology work by taking part in creating and developing the General Finnish Ontology and several specialised ontologies (see the Finto service).
Carrying out ontology projects is part of the service portfolio of the Finnish Terminology Centre. You are welcome to contact us for help in planning and implementing an ontology project.
For more information on ontology work, please see the section Terminology work and ontology work.