5.8. Relationships in Organizing Systems

In the previous sections as we surveyed the five perspectives on analyzing relationships we mentioned numerous examples where relationships had important roles in organizing systems. In this final section we examine three contexts for organizing systems where relationships are especially fundamental; the Semantic Web and Linked Data, bibliographic organizing systems, and situations involving system integration and interoperability.

5.8.1. The Semantic Web and Linked Data

In a classic 2001 paper, Tim Berners-Lee laid out a vision of a Semantic Web in which all information could be shared and processed by automated tools as well as by people. The essential technologies for making the web more semantic and relationships among web resources more explicit are applications of XML, including RDF (§, “Tagging of Web-based Resources”), and OWL (§5.3.3, “Ontologies”). Many tools have been developed to support more semantic encoding, but most still require substantial expertise in semantic technologies and web standards.

More likely to succeed are applications that aim lower, not trying to encode all the latent semantics in a document or web page. For example, some wiki and blogging tools contain templates for semantic annotation, and Wikipedia has thousands of templates and “info boxes” to encourage the creation of information in content-encoded formats.

Get The Discipline of Organizing: Core Concepts Edition, 3rd Edition now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.