W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-xg-eiif@w3.org > January 2009

Re: Universal Core?

From: Carl Reed <creed@opengeospatial.org>
Date: Thu, 15 Jan 2009 10:34:21 -0700
Message-ID: <47C09496A6634A87986328A992B7B0EE@CarlandSusieOf>
To: "C H" <craighubleyca@yahoo.com>, "public-xg-eiif" <public-xg-eiif@w3.org>, "Renato Iannella" <renato@nicta.com.au>

Well, I would not dismiss uCore.

uCore is being "honchoed" by the US Defense Information Services Agency 
(DISA) on behalf of the DoD/Intel community. uCore is NOT designed to be 
everything to everyone. A good overview may be found at: 
http://www.defenselink.mil/cio-nii/docs/UCore_Overview.pdf . Another web 
site is http://data.army.mil/datastrategy_universal_core.html .

The "where" elements of uCore use the OGC Geography Markup Language (GML) - 

uCore is NOT designed nor meant to be a "universal" data warehousing or 
ontology project!

That said, as uCore does use GML to encode "where" content, and GML is based 
on ISO 19107, then by definition uCore "where" is based on the semantics and 
information model for Features (geography) as defined by the OGC/ISO 



----- Original Message ----- 
From: "C H" <craighubleyca@yahoo.com>
To: "public-xg-eiif" <public-xg-eiif@w3.org>; "Renato Iannella" 
Sent: Thursday, January 15, 2009 12:18 AM
Subject: Re: Universal Core?

> Unfortunately the history of such "universal" data warehousing / ontology 
> projects is very discouraging.  Someone who doesn't know this history has 
> probably sold someone who doesn't know much about philosophy on the idea.
> Or else it's just a joke.
> People have been searching for such "universally understood concepts of 
> who, what, when, and where" for thousands of years.  At least they left 
> how and why off the list, but that reduces it to maybe a problem several 
> hundred years in duration.  So I'm not surprised you see blank pages...
> Anyone seriously interested in such a problem would have to address some 
> tough foundations problems, of which I'll illustrate just three quickly:
> - Capital assets are the most important "what" and any ontology of these
>  must deal effectively with the fact that they come at least in natural/
>  ecological, manufactured/infrastructural, financial/contractual/formal
>  and social/reputational/informal forms, and that's not even counting the
>  individual capabilities/skills or instructions/protocols that we employ,
>  which personally I believe are two more types of capital asset (making
>  six)
>  How far will such a "universal" get if it confuses such basic ontology
>  categories as a person's body vs. their relationships vs. instructions
>  they carry out well but which in theory any other person can carry out?
>  Yet almost all "human capital" or "human resource" models do confuse it.
>  Without such a model, planning logistics and maintenance is *very* hard
>  and so given a bad model you can expect splintering away from the "core".
> - "Who" has obvious problems of which the worst is assuming that it will
>  always and immediately resolve to a specific living person by name.  In
>  fact we deal with a lot of abstraction regarding "who" in daily life and
>  most of our characterizations of people are quite faceted and fragmented
>  by design.  For privacy and to avoid biases, we might have to divide our
>  perceptions of people into financial, medical, legal or governmental and
>  professional accreditation, social service or victim status, and so on...
>  all without the person providing the service knowing the other facets...
>  One of the worst problems in government is the legitimate division of
>  all data about us into silos to protect us, which doesn't protect us or
>  the public at key moments when the data really must all come together.
> - While "when" and "where" seem objective to people used to coordinate and
>  scheduling systems, the complex conditionals we deal with in daily life
>  are well beyond most ontologies.  We have proposed already to deal with
>  trajectories/routes/schedules to allow rendezvous en route or to allow a
>  heuristic approach to finding a person who is not where they are thought
>  to be or belong.  But we fell short of really acknowledging that this is
>  a path not just through spacetime but through a series of intents/choices
>  that we would never be able to characterize adequately except maybe as a
>  textual note regarding each choice along the path.  Those applications
>  that are not safety-critical are going to have a rough time dealing with
>  this generality and where they don't need to, the representation must
>  thus collapse to a simple list of coordinates or a single spacetime blob.
>  While this problem is actually solvable and must be solved as part of
>  the EIIF project to avoid the horror of dozens of scheduling/routing/
>  GPS conventions to represent trajectory/route, it's not obvious to all
>  that it's necessary.  Heck some people still think dates can exist with
>  no time zone, but of course they don't, and time zones are also problems
>  when you cross them if your representation assumed that all times along
>  the path would be in the same zone, i.e. the zone was assigned per path
>  or (disastrous) per application via some kind of "local" assumption.;-(
>  And let's not even start on the many ways people represent "where".  The
>  GPS helps immensely but even if we all had them, they are not quite yet
>  accurate enough to guide us to the correct office door or bed in a dorm
>  or refugee tent, nor do we necessarily expect all those to be RF-tagged.
>  Add in the relative location issue (it's the third door on the left of
>  the aft cabin in hallway C on deck 3, which moves with the ship... so it
>  can't be a GPS coordinate...) and you have something still very unsolved.
> If someone does intend to solve all these problems, I would like to help, 
> but I do not frankly believe that the project is more than an idea yet...
> --- On Wed, 1/14/09, Renato Iannella <renato@nicta.com.au> wrote:
>> Universal Core (UCore) is a federal information sharing
>> initiative that supports the National Information Sharing
>> Strategy and all associated Departmental / Agency
>> strategies. UCore enables information sharing by defining an
>> implementable specification (XML Schema) containing agreed
>> upon representations for the most commonly shared and
>> universally understood concepts of who, what, when, and where.
>> https://ucore.gov/
>> =====
>> Seems relevant (to say the least!) - but the web site is
>> empty....does anyone have any insights?
>> Cheers...  Renato Iannella
Received on Thursday, 15 January 2009 17:36:37 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 6 January 2015 19:58:02 UTC