Development of a controlled vocabulary for semantic interoperability of mineral exploration geodata for mining projects

Semantic interoperability of mineral exploration geodata is a long-term concern in mining projects. Inconsistent conceptual schemas and heterogeneous professional terms among various geodata sources in a mining project often hinder their efficient use and/or reuse. Our study of a controlled vocabulary focuses on interoperability of mineral exploration geodata of different mining projects of a mining group in China. In order to achieve this purpose, a proper representation of concepts and their inter-relationships in the knowledge domain of mineral exploration for mining projects is proposed. In addition, we propose that for wider interoperability of mining project geodata the controlled vocabulary underpinning them should be interoperable with concepts in related applications in the mineral exploration domain. In developing our controlled vocabulary, we adopted/adapted national standards of geosciences taxonomies and terminologies. The organization structure of terms, coding method, metadata schema for database applications and extensible structure of our controlled vocabulary are discussed. The controlled vocabulary we developed was then used to reconcile heterogeneous geodata and to set up integrated databases for various mining projects of the mining group. Our study shows that a properly organized controlled vocabulary not only allows for efficient reconciliation of heterogeneous geodata sources in similar or related projects, but also makes related geodata to be interoperable with extramural applications in the same knowledge domain.

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