9. Related Projects

There are a number of semantic development projects that appear to be particularly relevant to the one described here. We have outlined those with which we are familiar; if there are others equally relevant, please call them to our attention.

The Open Ontology Repository (OOR) Community Development Effort

The Open Ontology Repository (http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?OpenOntologyRepository) is an attempt to develop a reusable, open-source, and highly distributable ontology repository service. It is hosted by the Ontolog Collaborative Work Environment (http://ontolog.cim3.net) and has attracted a significant amount of high-powered developer support. The expectation is that the group will submit a proposal to fund ongoing development of the project.

In addition to meeting a wide range of ontology requirements (see http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?OpenOntologyRepository_Requirement), the project intends to create ontology repositories that can be federated, so that it is possible to navigate among the various repositories to find ontologies relevant to one's needs.

As of August 2008, a set of Java interfaces have been documented, in addition to Use Cases and Requirements collections.

The Lifecycle Support for Networked Ontologies (NeOn) Project

The NeOn project (http://www.neon-project.org/) is a multi-year European initiative funded for 15 million Euros. It has several major thrusts, but is noteworthy for its extensive consideration of the entire lifecycle of ontology-related requirements, from original creation to end-user application, and its detailed and analytical approach to providing appropriate solutions.

The project seeks to "advance the state of the art in using ontologies for large-scale semantic applications in the distributed organizations. Particularly, we aim at improving the capability to handle multiple networked ontologies that exist in a particular context, are created collaboratively, and might be highly dynamic and constantly evolving." This is an exceptionally suitable description of the needs of the marine and environmental ontology community.

NeOn has produced a large number of reports and deliverable products, and expressed a willingness to collaborate with entities such as OOR and MMI.

The BioPortal Project

The BioPortal Project is supported by the National Center for Biomedical Ontology, an NIH organization, and is the most advanced science ontology project in the United States. A brief list of the functionality already provided is found at http://www.bioontology.org/tools/portal/bioportal.html, and includes a large number of the features described above, as well as many highly desirable community features not mentioned here.

Although this project focused on biomedicine, they encourage collaborations with other projects outside that domain, and have participated in some of the OOR discussions.