A new report has appeared from UKOLN which provides a state of the art review of terminology services (including discussion of personal name authorities). This is a very helpful piece of work which reviews a variety of approaches. What is especially interesting about it is that it looks at work across a variety of domains: 'classic' library approaches, the semantic web generally, semantic web approaches within e-science, e-learning, geospatial, folksonomies, and so on. It describes an international range of projects and intiatives. It also provides some useful framing approaches, helpfully shaping a wide range of materials.
Here is how the authors characterizes 'terminology services':
Terminology Services (TS) are a set of services that present and apply vocabularies, both controlled and uncontrolled, including their member terms, concepts and relationships. This is done for purposes of searching, browsing, discovery, translation, mapping, semantic reasoning, subject indexing and classification, harvesting, alerting etc. Indicative use cases are discussed. [Terminology Services and Technology JISC state of the art review - summary page]
The authors (Doug Tudhope, Traugott Koch, and Rachel Heery) provide some recommendations for services directions to JISC, who commissioned the report. These are wide-ranging and it is instructive to see what they think is important or advisable. I would have been interested to learn what they see as priorities: what are the three or four things that JISC could fund to effectively advance some of the topics they describe.