‘Wikyplanet’ is the wiki-platform that has been developed for KYOTO. A wiki is a website that allows the easy creation and editing of any number of interlinked web pages via a web browser using a simplified markup language or a WYSIWYG text editor. Wikis are typically powered by wiki software and are often used to create collaborative websites, to power community websites, for personal note taking, in corporate intranets, and in knowledge management systems. Wikis may exist to serve a specific purpose, and in such cases, users use their editorial rights to remove material that is considered "off topic". Such is the case of the collaborative encyclopedia Wikipedia. In contrast, open purpose wikis accept content without firm rules as to how the content should be organized.
The 1st KYOTO Workshop in the Artis Zoo, Amsterdam on 2-3 February 2009 provided the basis for developing Wikyplanet. The workshop provided a forum for the environment (user) community to meet the language technology community; during the presentations and interactive sessions a number of issues emerged including the "technology gap" currently suffered by the environment community. When compared to other knowledge based sectors (e.g. bio-technology and medicine), the environment community is apparently using very little information technology in general and, where it does, makes use of the basic technology in a non-optimal way.
Another major conclusion was that in order to improve the sharing and exchange of knowledge, data and information the users have a very urgent need to organize themselves as an Internet community, preferably through a community platform. Such a platform can immediately help to:
- create global social networks of specialists of different expertise;
- share knowledge and information in a more efficient way;
- standardize knowledge and information;
- add trust values to specialists in the community and to the information that is provided;
As for the community platform the main challenge will not be the technical solutions, but the change in attitude of the users towards sharing information.
Semantic Media Wiki
Wikyplanet is built with so-called Semantic Media Wiki software. Semantic MediaWiki is an extension of MediaWiki (a widely used wiki-engine that also powers Wikipedia).
Semantic MediaWiki (SMW) is a semantically enhanced wiki engine that enables users to annotate the wiki’s contents with explicit, machine-readable information. Using this semantic data, SMW addresses core problems of today’s wikis:
- Consistency of content: The same information often occurs on many pages. How can one ensure that information in different parts of the system is consistent, especially as it can be changed in a distributed way?
- Accessing knowledge: Large wikis have thousands of pages. Finding and comparing information from different pages is a challenging and time-consuming task.
- Reusing knowledge: Many wikis are driven by the wish to make information accessible to many people. But the rigid, text-based content of classical wikis can only be used by reading pages in a browser or similar application.
Introduction of Wikyplanet
The information on the wiki is accessible for all (potential) users (professionals from the environmental domain).
For the first phase a number of professionals are invited to start using the platform by adding information and start discussions or a forum with associates.
They will receive a “login”, that enables them to use the wiki tools and to add and delete information.
In the second phase Wikyplanet will be multilingual and used by more and more professionals.
Eventually, Wikyplanet will become the basis for integrating and launching the KYOTO system in a wider user community when it becomes available, thereby achieving early dissemination and validation.