Ontomarks is a Mozilla Firefox Extension that allows for the definiton of personal ontologies by searching the Web with Google or other search engines. Ontologies are stored in a RDF file that can be used by other Semantic Web applications.
In the everyday activity, for work or leisure, we use the Web to extend our knowledge by learning from documents and from terms exploited in the searching.
OntoMarks is a sidebar with an upper "permanent" panel, and a lower "temporary" panel. Whenever a Google page is loaded, the keywords used in the search are extracted by parsing the page URL and added to the bottom panel of the sidebar (step 1). Searches with multiple keywords are split, but expressions between quotes are kept as a single keyphrase. By right-clicking on any keyword, you can search the term again with Google (like with a bookmark) or make the keyword part of a permanent set (step 2). The list of temporary keywords is reset every time Firefox is started, so you might want to save a term to use it again later. But there is more, as saved keywords can constitute your personal ontology.
Before saving a keyword, you can ask Swoogle if the term is already defined by existing ontologies. A new browser tab is opened to show you the matching results and let you select the most appropriate definition. You can postpone the save, and the found definitions will be accessible via a contextual menu that can be open by right-clicking on the keyword. A colored dot shows the status of a term: red for unsearched, green otherwise.
Besides using terms as bookmarks for Google searches, the general utility of creating a personal ontology is to use it in KM systems such as MILK (i.e., by loading and using it in the GUI) to better organize personal knowledge or retrieve information from a shared repository: needless to say, it is the vision of the Semantic Web. For this reason OntoMarks is compliant with Semantic Web technologies: the upper panel relies on a RDF file, that can be loaded and managed by the MILK GUI as well as by any other RDF-based application.
OntoMarks is an academic project, currently under development (last release, Jan. 9th, 2008, v.0.3): thoroughful (beta) testing evaluation is still needed. If you are interested, please download the extension, use it for a while, and report us your experience by giving some feedback and possibly sending your ontology file from the link below.
- User Guide
- Links to students' theses (as project documentation)
- 0.3 Solved problems with: Personal namespaces, ontology file overwriting on extension update, location of ontology.rdf
- 0.2 Image manipulation, inteitgration with Google Images and (partially) with FlickR
- Sorting of Swoogle entries
- Refresh after "change label"