When Hydrospheres Collide: Lessons In Practical Environmental Ontologies


Graybeal, J., Bermudez, L. When Hydrospheres Collide: Lessons In Practical Environmental Ontologies. (2006.09.12) Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Hydroscience and Engineering, Philadelphia, PA, September 2006. http://hdl.handle.net/1860/732


The Marine Metadata Interoperability Project was created in 2004 with NSF funding. Its mission was to create a community of metadata-aware scientists and data managers, and provide leadership toward interoperable metadata solutions. Recently, MMI brought together a number of international participants, with the eventual objective of developing a fully rationalized ontology of data source types ("sensors"). First, however, the team focused on an ontology for environmental science platforms, with a particular focus on marine platforms. The team believed a platforms ontology was simpler, and knew it was a needed reference in the sensor ontology effort. In addition, the platform ontology could be put to use fairly quickly by a number of interested data system developers. The objectives, and the activities and associated documents are at the site http://marinemetadata.org/sourcesont. This paper describes the reality of working with words in a computational context, from the point of view of a computer scientist and data manager who is not an ontologist. It also provides an alternative view on approaches to developing an upper ontology for a given topic.