The Virtual Solar-Terrestrial Observatory: A Deployed Semantic Web Application Case Study for Scientific Research

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The Virtual Solar-Terrestrial Observatory is a production semantic web data framework providing access to observational datasets from fields spanning upper atmospheric terrestrial physics to solar physics. The observatory allows virtual access to a highly distributed and heterogeneous set of data that appears as if all resources are organized, stored and retrieved/used in a common way. The end-user community comprises scientists, students, data providers numbering over 600 out of an estimated community of 800. We present details on the case study, our technological approach including the semantic web languages, tools and infrastructure deployed, benefits of AI technology to the application, and our present evaluation after the initial nine months of use.


DateCreated ByLink
August 29, 2011
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