Visual representation for knowledge representation: Graphics libraries to support anatomy terminologies and ontologies

Melissa Clarkson, Steven Roggenkamp

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Visual representations are crucial for communicating biomedical knowledge, particularly in the domain of anatomy. Methods for integrating standardized visual representations into knowledge representation schemes are largely unexplored, leaving users dependent upon textual descriptions or ad-hoc visuals. In this work we introduce SVG-based graphics libraries as a tool for standardizing visual representations of biomedical knowledge. We first present design requirements for graphics libraries and a scheme for implementing web-accessible libraries. Finally, we introduce a prototype application for managing and sharing a graphics library. This work uses a library for orofacial anatomy as a test case, but is applicable to any domain of biomedical knowledge that can benefit from visual representation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCEUR Workshop Proceedings
StatePublished - 2019
Event10th International Conference on Biomedical Ontology, ICBO 2019 - Buffalo, United States
Duration: Jul 30 2019Aug 2 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank José (Onard) Mejino, Todd Detwiler, and James Brinkley of the Structural Informatics Group at the University of Washington for supporting M.C. during her doctoral and postdoctoral studies when this work was initiated. Additional thanks to Tim Cox and Carrie Heike for advising on phenotypes depicted within the Orofacial Graphics Library.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 for this paper by its authors. Use permitted under Creative Commons License Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).


  • Knowledge representation
  • Ontology
  • Terminology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (all)


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