Steering Committee: Latest minutes

Steering Committee 2009.10.02 Minutes

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See the Results summary below for list of participants.

Review of Minutes

Review of minutes from the last meeting, the meeting before, and the meeting before that. (Sorry!)

Minutes were provisionally approved -- many hadn't read them all yet.


Topic 0: General Status

John is now employed at UCSD. Radically busy time on OOI CI project, but eeking out some hours on MMI.

SOWs for semantic framework prototype are going forward. Semantic framework activity in general is going forward.

Terms of Reference have been updated (but note the graphic needs updating).

We haven't discussed potential alignments between OOI and MMI, but that's pending. However the semantic prototype work for OOI will provide some augmentations for Carlos, Luis Bermudez, Ilya Zaslavsky, and Peter Fox to work on semantic issues, including ORR.

Carlos reports that his work on ORR is focusing on enabling hosting options for external vocabularies at MMI (fully hosted, re-hosted, or indexed). VINE has its mapping functionality in place, but no metadata for each mapping yet. Carlos and Stephanie are working on the User Manual; Luis and John are willing to help.

Is it possible to distinguish between mappings and regular vocabularies so it's easy, for example, to see only vocabularies, perhaps according to some criteria like keywords? The user interface (which is the newer portal now) includes this basic categorization (mappings and vocabularies) so the user can only see ontologies in one of the categories by clicking on the corresponding UI component.  However, the internal criteria to do the categorization needs to be improved.  In particular, note that it may be the case that the same ontology is both a vocabulary and a mapping.

Requested to define spaces or projects in order to group ontologies in various ways.

NCDDC is revamping its mermaid metadata systems, which will include keyword based search for vocabularies and some drop down lists. MMI ORR needs to create/document the API to explain how ORR supports this; the User Manual will have a section. (Luis can help with SPARQL.)

Topic 0B: Status

The Guides team is planning a publication and moving forward with several tasks.

The semantic framework paper being led by Anthony is moving forward.

Luis gave a presentation at ESIP's Water Cluster yesterday, to 20 to 35 people from key activities. He described the semantic interoperability issues and MMI activities, which were well received.

John gave a presentation on the OOI semantic prototype to senior engineers representing Ocean Leadership for the OOI project; while they were very sharp and one was skeptical about the priorities, another was enthusiastic, saying this was the first time he would recommend going forward with a semantic solution on a project such as this. (He was particularly keen on the basic capabilities offered by the approach, which didn't try to solve all semantic reasoning problems at once.)

Topic 1: Steering Committee email list distribution policies

Dawn Wright asked if she could be kept on the Steering Committee email list, in order to keep up with those topics. This raised the general question of how we maintain this list. Right now the following people are on the email list but not on the Steering Committee:

  • Dawn Wright
  • Carlos Rueda
  • Al Plueddemon

In the past we've had Steve Meacham on the list as well. So far, I've been moving members of the Steering Committee to the Technical Advisory Panel, if they are willing. There they should receive postings every so often about our progress.

What do we want to do about Dawn's request, and do we want to make any other changes to the email list?

Proposed that a member can continue to participate in Steering Committee meetings and be in the mailing list for one year after resigning, but without voting priveleges.

Although there was general approval of this notion, it was agreed to defer a decision until next meeting, since it was a new proposal.

Also suggested that the Technical Lead be given ex officio status on the Steering Committee.

Topic 2: TOR Updates: Wrapup; Diagram; Definition of 'MMI Grant' and 'MMI-supported Grant'

1) A TOR diagram update to reflect last month's changes is pending.

2) Any remaining issues or reconsiderations from the Terms of Reference changes we made last month?

3) The Terms of Reference uses the term MMI grant, but doesn't define them. The following is proposed (thanks Stephanie):

MMI Grant: a grant fulfilling the core objectives of MMI and formally approved by the MMI Steering Committee

Also brought forward for consideration:

MMI-Supported Grant: a grant that includes activities supporting the core MMI objectives, but is not formally approved by the MMI Steering Committee. This type of grant is not fully under the aegis of MMI, but is closely related to MMI’s work.

These definitions are suggested to go before section 5.1.

Deferred discussion of this item to next meeting.

Topic 3: MMI Steering Committee Member links

I'd like to put links from your names on the MMI Steering Committee membership page to home pages or other suitable CV-type information. Any objections? If not, can you provide me with appropriate links?

No issues with this. Suggestion to create all the bio pages on the MMI site, similar to projects that create short pages or paragraphs about each participant. Some felt this model was not appropriate for some, who only want to have and maintain one CV or bio page. Very short CVs on MMI with links to another page is also possible.

[John] Send an email to members asking for a bio page (reference or creation).

Specify the mechanisms to support bio references in Drupal.

[Julie] Create a bio page for MMI.

Topic 4: MMI Top 10 Activities: Strategic Approaches

Last month the Steering Committee received the action item:

Consider what goals may be furthered by synergistic relationships with OOI (as well as others).

We will solicit specific suggestions in this regard, but also consider the larger topic: How MMI is represented and advanced strategically in different projects—OOI, IOOS, OGC WG, OBIF, ESIP, INSPIRE, and so on—and in different venues—Oceans09, AGU, OceanSciences, and the like. We will start the overall discussion by collecting information about MMI's participation in those upcoming meetings.

This discussion can lead to a strategic discussion of what we want MMI to be, where to focus and what services we would like to offer to each project and community.


Meeting Results

Action Items

  • [Carlos] A TOR diagram update to reflect last month's changes is pending.
  • [John] Send an email to members asking for a bio page (reference or creation).
  • Specify the mechanisms to support bio references in Drupal.
  • [Julie] Create a bio page for MMI.

Other Meeting Results

  • Minutes were provisionally approved -- many hadn't read them all yet.


Here Committee Member Affiliation
X Robert Arko LDEO
  Matthew Arrott UCSD
X Luis Bermudez
SURA (ExecComm)
  Philip Bogden SURA/SCOOP.
X Julie Bosch NOAA
  Francisco Chavez MBARI
  Taco de Bruin NIOZ
X Ben Domenico Unidata
X Duane Edgington MBARI. (ExecComm): duane at
X Matthew Howard TAMU (ExecComm): mkhoward at
X Andy Maffei WHOI (ExecComm):
  Stephen Miller Scripps
  Lola Olsen NASA Goddard
  Greg Reed AODC
X Karen Stocks UCSD (ExecComm): kstocks at
  Stephanie Watson Independent