Thomas Baker

Independent FAO consultant - Architect of the Global Agricultural Concept Scheme (GACS)

Thomas Baker is an independent Semantic Web consultant currently helping FAO build the Global Agricultural Concept Scheme (GACS).  His background is in social sciences, with a PhD in Anthropology at Stanford University (1989) followed by work at a socio-economic research institute in Italy.  Since 1993, his wife's relocations have taken their family from New York to Bonn, Bangkok, Berlin, Washington, and back to Bonn, where he currently resides.  Drawn to the Internet in the 1980s by The WELL, he switched fields via a masters in library science at Rutgers University to work at the German National Research Center for Informatics (GMD).  He has worked at Goettingen State Library and taught at the Asian Institute of Technology (Bangkok) and Sungkyunkwan University (Seoul).  Long a member of the DCMI Directorate, he has consulted on numerous projects, notably related to professional education (LD4PE Project) and agricultural semantics (AGROVOC and GACS).  He co-chaired the W3C working group that published Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS), the technical basisfor GACS.  An ardent polyglot, Tom is currently learning Ruby.  Viewing RDF as the language of data, with persistent URIs as its footnotes, he advocates for semantic approaches that are multilingually inclusive and sustainably simple.

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