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Dr. Karl-Heinz Lampe

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From a Single Project to Knowledge Mapping - Manufacturing Knowledge

The creation of knowledge entails more than the delivery of digital information. Using the example of a scientific project, DORSA (a virtual museum which offers access to the Orthoptera in German museum collections), this presentation will show how, with the assistance of ontologies, scientific "value added" may be generated.
With roots in philosophy, the concept of ontology is now used in the information sciences to describe a formal specification of semantic concepts. Formal specification permits different semantic concepts to be connected to one another, allowing the integration of complex systems of information. Ontologies may in this way play the role of transdisciplinary scholarly interpreters, between and among research disciplines in the natural and cultural sciences.
Collection and observation events, for example, possess a semantic relationship that becomes visible through ontological formalisation. Individual procedures can be traced back to a model and, for this reason, set in relation to one another. Tracing the example offered by one well-documented insect specimen - and various relationships linked to this example - this presentation will show that ontologies not only describe the result of a scientific activity, such as the new description of a species. Ontologies also illustrate the way one comes to the result.

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