The Knowledge Management (KM) Depot

The Knowledge Management (KM) Depot: February 2011

Monday, February 28, 2011

Dude where's my car? Using Taxonomies and Ontologies in Search

Have you ever experienced a situation when you just could not find that document on your content management system you were looking for? You may have known part of the title or what some of the contents were but you couldn't put your finger on it. You executed the latest search mechanisms on the site and you had to weed through several pages of content searching for that elusive piece of information. Then finally after a period of time (who knows how long) you either find it (OH Yea!) or give up in frustration (@%#&#^#).
A possible cure for your dilemma as well as mine and countless others is to implement a taxonomy and/or ontology into the information architecture of your intranet, SharePoint, or other orgainizational content management/knowledge repository. You now may be asking yourself, what in the world is a taxonomy? or ontology?

Simply put a taxonomy is a hierarchical classification or framework for information retrieval. ontology is a classification/specification of concepts (see more on ontology). For you SharePoint users out here leveraging Content Types and Metadata along with a solid taxonomy will greatly enhance your search to return what you are looking for. While leveraging an ontology will provide another level of search accuracy leveraging concepts or conceptual searching. Taxonomies are the basis of classfication schemes and indexing systems in information management (see more on taxonomy).

There are many tools and possible solutions available to solve our serach dilemma. Therefore, over the next few weeks I will be looking into the various solutions and finding out what folks are doing to address our search dilemma. So, once and for all we can answer the question: Dude Wher's My Car?

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