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Many tools use some kind of tag-normalizations. This seems to be a fundamental part of each tagging engine wich should probably be copied by OSSTag.
- ccHost  - all tags are converted to lower-case
- FreeTag  - Tag-normalization (lowercase, removal of non-alphanumeric chars) -> searching for NY, ny and N.Y. will all find the same results
Only three tools go beyond a flat tagging structure:
- Tasty  allows to tag Things and Users.
- Infomanager  uses graphs / paths
- Tagging Prototype  from Timothy - 3-level-tagging
No tool made any attempt to use some special thesaurus for tagging. Some really good ideas can be found here: http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=2006052522234947 
A more concrete way to use a special thesaurus with information from Wikipedia is described at Which tags do we allow 
This is also a way we could use to provide a central tagging server
No tool implements distributed tagging-engines. All use a central database.
The tool that is closest to what we need would be FreeTag .
I suggest to write a prototype from scratch with the primary goal to try out several tagging-structures. OSSTag v0.1 could be enhanced for 3-level-tagging and n-level-tagging in combination with wikipedia or ACM  thesaurus. Then we could try to tag a project with each combination of these ways and see which fits best for our needs ..
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