Knowledge Organisation


Kim H. Veltman

Conceptual Navigation in Multimedia Knowledge Spaces

Opening Keynote TKE -1999 Conference.
Published in: TKE-1999, 5th International Congress and Workshops on Terminology and Knowledge Engineering, Vienna: TermNet, 1999, pp. 1-27.

0. Introduction
1. Electronic Equivalents of Footnotes
2. Dynamic Knowledge
3. New Relations
4. Cultural and Historical Dimensions of Knowledge
5. Levels of Abstraction
6. Multi and Inter-Disciplinarity
7. Man and/or versus Machine
8. Visualisation
9. Dangers
Virtual vs. Concrete
Non-Monetary Sides of Value
Popular and the Enduring
10. Conclusions

0. Introduction

The possibilities of the Internet are evolving slowly. Nearly 55 years ago, when Vannevar Bush described his vision of the future he focussed on the idea of hypertext, the possibility of linking any word with any other word. A decade later, Douglas Engelbart outlined a vision of multimedia e-mail which, as he noted in his keynote to the WWW6 Conference (Santa Clara, 1997) has still not been achieved. Pioneers such as Ted Nelson explored aspects of that vision. When the earliest version of the Internet began in a military context (1969) it was largely so that physicists could communicate with each other at a distance in order to share scientific information. This goal also inspired Tim Berners Lee (1989) to make his breakthrough with Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML), which led to the World Wide Web as we know it today.

The past decade has seen a shift in these goals of the Internet. At a superficial level there has been an enormous increase in the range of subjects covered which include government and business information, philosophy, literature, art, news, entertainment and many personal sites. At a more profound level there is an increasing quest to distinguish two levels of communication on the Internet: one for communication between individual human beings in natural language; the other in machine readable form such that computers can communicate without human intervention. In his keynote at WWW7 (Brisbane, 1998), Tim Berners Lee, outlined this vision in terms of a global reasoning web. He pursued this theme at WWW8 (Toronto, 1999), where he described the need for a semantic web.

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