Earth sciences ontology in the spotlight

Ontolog Forum ‘mini sessions’ propose improved meta data, formats for geoscience and GIS.

The Ontolog Forum, a virtual community of practice dedicated to advancing the field of ontology and semantic technology in mainstream applications and standards, has just concluded two online ‘mini sessions’ devoted to establishing an earth sciences ontology.

Krzysztof Janowicz (UC Santa Barbara) sketched out the geo-ontology value proposition. Better meta data means ease of data discovery and reuse, improved reproducibility of scientific results and less misinterpretation.

Mike Dean, from Raytheon unit BBN Technologies, outlined prior ontological art likely to impact earth sciences. This includes GeoSparql for geospatial data and the RDF Data Cube for multi dimensional ‘linked data’ sets.

The USGS’ Dalia Varanka contrasted the ambiguity of current relational models with the ‘sharper scientific focus’ that a ‘semantically specified model’ promises. More earth sciences ontology mini sessions are scheduled for November and December.

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