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API's and an Ontology for Wildlife

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Ian Forrester Ian Forrester | 14:38 UK time, Wednesday, 24 March 2010

There's no doubt that our commitment to Semantic Web technologies is very strong. The work that has been done around /programmes, /music and recently /topics is certainly of interest to those who would like to explorer and remix data under the backstage licence. But its also a way forward for owners of huge data resources and not sure how to best release there stuff.

The Wildlife Ontology was originally designed to support the publishing of data from the BBC Wildlife Finder application. This application provides access to a rich set of information and data about biological species, as well as pointers to BBC broadcast output that relate to these topics. The ontology should therefore complement the existing Programmes Ontology for describing TV programmes.

Whilst it originates in a specific BBC use case, the Wildlife Ontology should be applicable to a wide range of biological data publishing use cases. Care has been taken to try and ensure interoperability with more specialised ontologies used in scientific domains such as taxonomy, ecology, environmental science, and bioinformatics

If you visit the wildlifefinder site you will be forgiven for asking where's the API, wheres the data? Simply find what you want and pop .rdf on the end and you got everything and more in a structured data format which you can remix and mashup to your pleasure.

I'm very excited by this data and the whole way its been done, you could imagine something like the Solar System having the same treatment in the future. Full credit to Tom Scott's team and Tails There's tons more information in Tom's presentation above.


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