Introduction - Concept Scheme - Vocabularies - Web Interface - Copyright



Introduction

Thesauri are controlled and dynamic vocabularies of terms, where semantic relations (hierarchical, associative, equivalence) between terms are explicitly declared. Thesauri are instruments for the semantic control of the language. They can be used for indexing, classification, cataloguing and retrieval of information in environmental databases.Thesauri can adopt different classification structures based on general categories and facets, on a thematic or disciplinary base, or following a mixed approach.

While representing the semantics of a term it is necessary to choose which types of characteristics and how many of them need to be considered and included in the representation.

While there is the necessity to share a common and stable meaning of the terms in order to guarantee communication within a community, openness to a further exploration of meaning should also be ensured so as not to impoverish its richness and complexity.

Highly structured and refined, but flexible tools are needed in order to deal with issues such as information management on the web or to satisfy the growing demand of semantic interoperability.

The goal is the development of a thesaurus that could include the above assumptions aiming to become an advanced tool to be applied in environmental information management.

In order to sustain environmental policy and research, not only access to- but also high level quality of information is required. There is the constant need to follow the terminological changes in science and technology (new terms and/or new meanings, new topics and issues).

Starting from this premise, we adopted a more inclusive approach concerning both conceptual coverage and semantic organisation, and taking also into considerations suggestions arising from the development of applied ontologies, we started to work on thesaurus format containing some innovative elements.