Selected References, based on Ontologies and Thesauri, Sensor

For a complete set of references, see Search MMI References.

Titlesort iconDescriptionReference TypeReference Topic
A Universal Ontology for Sensor Networks Data

A two layer prototype ontology that utilizes the IEEE Suggested Upper Merged Ontology (SUMO) as a root definition of general concepts and associations and two subontologies: the sensor data sub-ontology and the sensor hierarchy sub-ontology.

Ontology includes a Sensor Hierarchy Ontology that includes many of the same concepts as the MMI Device Ontology facets.

The ontology itself is not yet referenced here.

Autonomous Mission Operations for Sensor Webs Ontology

This group is developing a device ontology to facilitate the development of autonomous mission systems.

CIMA Ontology

CIMA is aimed at "Grid enabling" instruments as real-time data sources to improve accessibility of instruments and to facilitate their integration into the Grid. They are developing semantic metadata (in OWL/RDF) using a web-based tool, so that the semantic metadata can be used to drive the WSDL/SOAP middleware.

GCMD Sensors Vocabulary

The GCMD (Global Change Master Directory) keyword vocabularies are maintained by NASA, and are fairly extensive. These keywords are used to reference data submitted to the NASA repository.

The 1300+ sensor keywords are provided by users, so some inconsistency in naming patterns can be detected. 

MMI Device Ontology: A Community Development Project

MMI has begun development of an ontology aimed at classifying sensor/device types, and possibly extending into more detailed sensor terminology. This project is being developed by interested members of the marine science and data community. See the project web site for details.

MMI Workshop Sensors Ontology

This outline was developed by participants in the MMI Advancing Domain Vocabularies workshop in 2005. It is a top-level outline of sensor types, organized by measurement technique. Although it never moved beyond the preliminary stage, it is moderately comprehensive.

OntoSensor Ontology

The OntoSensor ontology has been developed over a number of years by David Russomanno, of the University of Memphis.

It is built using the SUMO upper ontology.

As of 2008 it was not under active development.


A reference paper is:

D.J. Russomanno, C. Kothari and O. Thomas “Building a

Sensor Ontology: A Practical Approach Leveraging ISO and

W3C Semantic Sensor Network Incubator Working Group

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has a one-year incubator working group to consider development of ontologies and semantics for devices. The group's charter outlines two goals:

  • the development of ontologies for describing sensors, and
  • the extension of the Sensor Markup Language (SML), one of the four SWE languages, to support semantic annotations.

To participate in the W3C activity, W3C membership is required. See the charter for more information.