Earth and Space Sciences Ontology Workshop

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Website: Earth and Space Sciences Ontology Workshop
When: May 26 2006
Where: The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD
Knowledge representation and reasoning research focuses on providing the foundation for encoding precise semantics for terms. An ontology is just such a collection of formal term definitions and term inter-relationships. Knowledge representation languages and ontologies are providing the formal foundation for encoding the semantics in the semantic web and the semantic grid. Earth and Space Science is well positioned to benefit from progress in the areas of the Semantic Web and the Semantic Grid. These areas rely on machine interpretable encodings of semantics or meaning. Once formal encoding of meaning exists, science applications may begin to interoperate.

Ontologies are receiving increased attention in the fields of Earth and Space Sciences and some significant development efforts and production applications are starting to appear. Often, terms and definitions differ across disciplines with different disciplines using identical terms with different meanings. Ontologies provide one way to provide a semantic repository of Earth and Space Science terms where the terms and their inter-relationships may be precisely defined. Such repositories can be used to articulate and relate the different notions in various discipline-specific and interdisciplinary data systems and Virtual Observatories by explicitly specifying the meaning of and relation between fundamental concepts. The use of formal ontologies has many advantages. It allows for an unambiguous specification of the structure of knowledge in a domain, enables knowledge sharing and, as a result, makes it possible to perform automated reasoning over data using terms in the ontologies.



Fox, P. 2006. Ontologies in Practice - a Solar Terrestrial Example. In Proceedings of Earth and Space Sciences Ontology Workshop (May 26 2006, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD).