Ontology-Enabled Virtual Observatories: Semantic Integration in Practice

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Data integration across multiple disciplines is a key requirement for virtual observatories. We have designed and implemented a virtual observatory for the areas of solar, solar-terrestrial, and space physics that leverages semantic technologies. Our work provides an implemented demonstration of ontology-enabled semantic interoperability. We have encoded an ontology in OWL covering topics of importance to atmospheric and solar researchers. This ontology is used to inform our virtual observatory services. Our goal was to provide semantically-enabled search and analysis functionalities that access a virtual repository of scientific data. The target user community includes a broad range of scientific researchers over a wide array of data sources. We have implemented a number of use cases that demonstrate semantic integration across various solar atmospheric data sets and the impacts of solar activity on the atmosphere. The implementation is deployed and two scientific user communities are migrating over to full usage in October, 2006.


DateCreated ByLink
February 25, 2016
Patrick WestDownload
August 29, 2011
Patrick WestDownload

Related Projects:

DCO-DS LogoVirtual Solar Terrestrial Observatory (VSTO)
Principal Investigator: Peter Fox
Co Investigator: Deborah L. McGuinness
Description: VSTO is a collaborative project between the High Altitude Observatory and Scientific Computing Division of the National Center for Atmospheric Research and McGuinness Associates. VSTO is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) in the Shared Cyberinfrastructure (SCI) division.

Related Research Areas:

Semantic eScience
Lead Professor: Peter Fox
Science has fully entered a new mode of operation. E-science, defined as a combination of science, informatics, computer science, cyberinfrastructure and information technology is changing the way all of these disciplines do both their individual and collaborative work.
As semantic technologies have been gaining momentum in various e-Science areas (for example, W3C's new interest group for semantic web health care and life science), it is important to offer semantic-based methodologies, tools, middleware to facilitate scientific knowledge modeling, logical-based hypothesis checking, semantic data integration and application composition, integrated knowledge discovery and data analyzing for different e-Science applications.
Partially influenced by the Artificial Intelligence community, the Semantic Web researchers have largely focused on formal aspects of semantic representation languages or general-purpose semantic application development, with inadequate consideration of requirements from specific science areas. On the other hand, general science researchers are growing ever more dependent on the web, but they have no coherent agenda for exploring the emerging trends on the semantic web technologies. It urgently requires the development of a multi-disciplinary field to foster the growth and development of e-Science applications based on the semantic technologies and related knowledge-based approaches.

Concepts: eScience