Lieke Verhelst


The importance of SKOS in ontology development

Organisations that develop semantic models have a lot to think about. The envisioned benefits from semantic solutions have to compete with many factors of uncertainty that threaten project results. Challenges lie not only in the evident scarcity of knowledge, skills and tools but also in other factors such as business objectives and requirements. 

In this talk Lieke Verhelst shares her long experience as a semantic modeller. Side by side with subject matter experts she has constructed semantic models and infrastructures for the environment, construction and education sectors. She will point out which common pitfalls she has seen during a ontology development process. While illustrating these, she will come to answering the question why SKOS is the key to success for semantic solution projects.


Lieke Verhelst MSc has a degree in Geo-Information Management and Applications. For this degree she wrote a thesis about using semantic technologies for rule based requirement specifications. Ever since then she has been inspired by Tim Berners-Lee's vision of an intelligent web, driven by Open Data and semantic models. 

In 2013 she started a semantic web consultancy company INFORMAGIC/Linked Data Factory to help organisations develop and build semantic solutions. During projects Lieke not only delivers the required solution but also cares about creating knowledge and insight within the client organisation. At project end, client organisations are empowered to deliver sustainable semantic solutions themselves.

Lieke has developed semantic models for the environment, construction and education sector. When she worked for Wageningen University and Research Center she has developed and built ontologies for water- and environment management. She also developed an ontology that drives inference based discovery of animal diseases. For INFORMAGIC/Linked Data Factory she developed and built the model and infrastructure for "CBNL", the ontology of the Dutch construction sector. For the Dutch education standards organisation "Kennisnet" she currently maintains and improves the Linked Data infrastructure. She also advises the standardisation experts on how to develop working ontologies. Part of this project includes the selection and implementation of a collaborative ontology development tool, and the migration from the old development environment to the new. 
Lieke has working experience with enterprise semantic products such as Topbraid Enterprise Vocabulary Net, Poolparty, Webprotege and Fluent Editor/Ontorion Server. 

INFORMAGIC/Linked Data Factory is business partner for Poolparty and Cognitum.

Owner at Linked Data Factory