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RE: purpose/goals for observations ontologies

From: Simon Cox <simon.cox@jrc.ec.europa.eu>
Date: Wed, 5 Aug 2009 08:36:36 +0200
To: "'Kevin R. Page'" <krp@ecs.soton.ac.uk>, <public-xg-ssn@w3.org>
Message-ID: <AB895DBB234243289C81CB6AB3ACE68F@H07.jrc.it>
> I see phenomena as domain ontologies, and therefore something to steer
clear of. 
> We're unlikely to be able to achieve coverage or depth sufficient for any
one class of domain experts/users, and unlikely to be able to agree on the
structure and content (if we're even qualified to do so). 

Yes - that's why the O&M spec deliberately avoids specifying any particular
catalogue for either the feature-of-interest or the observed-property, and
delegates these to domains. 

However, there is no doubt that there are some basic property-types
(temperature, length, mass, etc) which are common across domains - at least
those corresponding to the SI fundamental units. This is probably where
approaches like SWEET provide some pointers (though I would prefer it if
SWEET itself were a bit more porous, and delegated some of the fundamentals
to more suitable authorities). 

Similarly, there are some common sampling patterns which are largely
independent of domain - points, areas, volumes, grids, time-series,
specimens. A lot of general-purpose scientific visualization and analysis
software is predicated on these. O&M part 2 was an attempt to identify
these. 

------------------------------------------------------

Simon Cox

European Commission, Joint Research Centre, 
Institute for Environment and Sustainability, 
Spatial Data Infrastructures Unit, TP 262

Via E. Fermi, 2749, I-21027 Ispra (VA), Italy

Tel: +39 0332 78 3652

Fax: +39 0332 78 6325

mailto:simon.cox@jrc.ec.europa.eu 

http://ies.jrc.ec.europa.eu/simon-cox 

 

SDI Unit: http://sdi.jrc.ec.europa.eu/ 

IES Institute: http://ies.jrc.ec.europa.eu/

JRC: http://www.jrc.ec.europa.eu/

------------------------------------------------------


-----Original Message-----
From: public-xg-ssn-request@w3.org [mailto:public-xg-ssn-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Kevin R. Page
Sent: Tuesday, 4 August 2009 18:21
To: public-xg-ssn@w3.org
Subject: Re: purpose/goals for observations ontologies

On Tue, 2009-08-04 at 08:36 -0600, John Graybeal wrote:
> From past minutes and today's telecon, I could not tell if the group 
> had a particular goal for reviewing and including observations 
> ontologies in the discussion. (I can see everyone thought it was a 
> good idea, but not what purpose they thought this would serve.)
> 
> Can someone clarify how we want to use any observation ontology that 
> might be identified or created?  For example, do we know we need an 
> ontology, or will it be enough just to have a list of phenomena?

Is this a question of the need for an observation ontology, or for phenomena
ontologies (or even just a list of phenomena)? We touched on ontologies that
cover both today.

I see phenomena as domain ontologies, and therefore something to steer clear
of. We're unlikely to be able to achieve coverage or depth sufficient for
any one class of domain experts/users, and unlikely to be able to agree on
the structure and content (if we're even qualified to do so). I think it's
also healthy to be able to support multiple ontologies from each domain (for
the same reasons as above, within each domain); a little mapping can go a
long way, and I'm very wary of "one ontology to rule them all" [1]

I believe we *will* be able to agree on a common model for sensors, and a
common model for observations and measurements. It's clear that these will
often need to be used in conjunction with each other, and in conjunction
with domain ontologies.

I don't think it's yet clear whether these models should be encapsulated in
one ontology, or two separate but closely linked ontologies.

We should recognise that both user-oriented (data) and process-oriented
(sensor) use cases exist (as reflected in current OGC standards).

Most of the sensor ontology review was process-oriented (imho! Some included
O&M concepts, but this generally wasn't the focus).

Personally, I was hoping to cover a more user-oriented perspective in our
review today, which I think we did. Even if it's decided that an O&M
ontology (or part thereof) is off-topic for this group (I don't think it
should be [2]), I think it's very important for the sensor ontology or a
part of it to be extendable - or at the very least compatible - with
user-centric use cases [3].



[1] I think we saw a little of this today when SWEET was discussed...
though time is probably a bit of a special case to pick on, because it's
both a fundamental quantity (fine to map between) and has domain specific
representations such as eras.

[2] though Simon mentioned an upcoming SONet meeting/process to reach a
common O&M model, which is something to take into consideration.

[3] So you won't be surprised to hear I think the Linked Data aspect of the
Semantic Web is just as important as the reasoning aspect.


Regards,

kev

-- 
Kevin R. Page           
krp@ecs.soton.ac.uk      http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/info/people/krp
Intelligence, Agents, Multimedia      University of Southampton, UK
Received on Wednesday, 5 August 2009 11:43:42 GMT

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