Heather Hedden

Semantic Web Company
Knowledge Engineer


Heather Hedden has been a knowledge engineer since 2020 with Semantic Web Company, vendor of PoolParty Semantic Suite software for taxonomy, ontology, and knowledge graph management. In addition to helping customers with their taxonomy/ontology projects and supporting sales, Heather has recently taken on the additional roles of Product Communications Representative – Americas, involving creating training and informational content about PoolParty, and Knowledge Manager of Semantic Web Company’s internal knowledge graph taxonomy and knowledge hub. Heather works for the US subsidiary of Semantic Web Company, based in Boston. 
Heather has been creating and editing taxonomies for over 25 years for various employers and as an independent consultant. Previously she worked as a taxonomist at Cengage Learning, Gale, Viziant, First Wind, and Project Performance Corporation. She gives workshops on taxonomy creation at conferences, as corporate training, and as an online course through Hedden Information Management. Heather is author of the book The Accidental Taxonomist, 3rd edition.

Talks and Events

Taxonomy-Driven Ontology Design

Taxonomies and ontologies are often merged. Ontologists might look upon taxonomies as the component or extension of ontologies to include hierarchies of subclasses. But it also goes the other way. Taxonomies can be semantically enriched to become ontologies with the addition of a high-level ontology model. This bottom-up approach to ontology creation leverages existing taxonomies. While stakeholder input and analysis of data are standard inputs into ontology design, taxonomies can serve as an additional source of input into designing an ontology. This session also addresses the difference of taxonomies and ontologies, presents benefits of taxonomy-based ontology design, and shows how an example taxonomy excerpt can serve as the basis for classes, object properties (semantic relations), and datatype properties (attributes).

Track: Masterclass