Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The SkillsBase Location Tree

We are in the process of making the SkillsBase hold location information in a form that can be searched. Currently we just provide a text field in which people can say where they are working and where they want to work. That will be replaced by the Location Tree.

Users of the SkillsBase will be familiar with the Skills Tree. This is a hierarchy of skills which has been built up as required by users of the SkillsBase. If someone needs to say they had a particular skill and it is not in the tree, an OpenSkills member can add it. The SkillsTree is a taxonomy but because it is defined by the OpenSkills community, some people may call it a folksonomy.

The location tree will also be a taxonomy where each entry (formally a "taxon") will represent a location. A location in this case will be a common usage term for a place in the world of work and jobs rather than the names of physical or political geographic entities. For example there may be an entry for "Greater Sydney" within which we might find the "CBD", or in the UK we may have "London" within which we will have "West End" and "City". And so on.

The root of the tree will be taken to be the planet. The next level down may be regions and countries. We must have an entry in the tree for every area which has distinct legislation regarding the right to work, which will mostly mean countries.

People will be able to link themselves to locations in the following ways:
  • A number of places of work can be associated with an engagement. In this way we can record where a person is working now (via engagements that have not ended) and where they have worked in the past (via engagements that have ended).
  • People can list where they have the right to work. Examples of a right to work would be citizenship or some kind of visa.
  • People can list where they would like to or be willing to work.
Now all we have to do is implement this in the SkillsBase, which is underway. Expect to see the first version out in July.

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