Lynda Moulton wrote a post today entitled “Taxonomy, Yes, but for What?” in which she reminds us that taxonomies aren’t just for navigation. Here is an excerpt:
Taxonomies for navigation are but one purpose for them to be used in search….In more sophisticated applications of taxonomies, the thesaurus model of relationships becomes a necessity. When a search engine, has embedded algorithms that can interpret explicit term relationships, it indexes content according to a taxonomy and all its cross-references. Taxonomy here informs the index engine.
Whether we’re talking about taxonomies, ontologies, or faceted classification schemes, Moulton is right to note that we should also keep in mind the intent of these knowledge management structures before we get too caught up in the details.