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Re: Need compelling story on the value of ontologies in fusing location-based data

From: Roger L. Costello <costello@mitre.org>
Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2003 08:55:45 -0400
Message-ID: <3EF84A51.B5B3A5F2@mitre.org>
To: www-rdf-interest@w3.org
CC: "Costello,Roger L." <costello@mitre.org>

Thanks to all that responded to my request.  Your suggestions are
interesting, but it is not clear to me how they demonstrate the
advantage of an RDFS- or OWL-ontology.  What aspect of RDFS or OWL is
being utilized?  Is subtyping being utilized? equivalentProperty?
disjointFrom? etc.

Let me give an example to show what I mean.  Suppose that a document
contains this data:

   <rdf:Description>
       <lat>73.000</lat>
       <lon>123.000</lon>
       ... document 1 data ...
   </rdf:Description>

Now consider this second document:

   <rdf:Description>
       <latititude>73.000</latitude>
       <longitude>123.000</longitude>
       ... document 2 data ...
   </rdf:Description>

Suppose that an OWL Location ontology exists and defines:

   lat is an equivalentProperty to latitude
   lon is an equivalentProperty to longitude

By consulting an OWL ontology an application can recognize that the two
documents are providing data for the same location, and can thus fuse
(aggregate) the data:

   <rdf:Description>
       <lat>73.000</lat>
       <lon>123.000</lon>
       ... document 1 data ...
       ... document 2 data ...
   </rdf:Description>

This is certainly one valid use of the information in an ontology, but
is is not a particularly compelling example.  I was hoping that someone
could give me a more compelling example.

The example that I would love to show is this: suppose that document 1
has data for a particular region, expressed as a "bounding box":

   <rdf:Description>
       <region>
          <top-left-coordinate>
              <lat>73.000</lat>
              <lon>123.000</lon>
          </top-left-coordinate>
          <bottom-right-coordinate>
              <lat>75.000</lat>
              <lon>125.000</lon>
          </bottom-right-coordinate>
       </region>
       ... document 1 data ...
   </rdf:Description>

And document 2 contains data for an area that is within the bounding
box:

   <rdf:Description>
       <latititude>74.000</latitude>
       <longitude>124.000</longitude>
       ... document 2 data ...
   </rdf:Description>

It would be *extremely* cool if, by consulting an OWL Location ontology,
an application could recognize that the location specified in document 2
is located *within* the bounding box specified in document 1.  Such an
example would get a *lot* of people in my community very excited about
OWL and RDFS.  Unfortunately, I can think of nothing in OWL or RDFS that
would help with this (I am eager to be proven wrong).  /Roger



"Roger L. Costello" wrote:
> 
> Hi Folks,
> 
> I need to give a talk (soon) on the benefits of ontologies to some folks
> whose data is location-dependent.  That is, their data is for a specific
> location (expressed as a lat/lon), at a specific time.
> 
> I think that they would be very impressed if I could show how the
> information in ontologies  may be used to help fuse (aggregate) their
> data with other data that corresponds to the same location.
> 
> If anyone has ideas on creating a compelling story along these lines
> please let me know.  /Roger
Received on Tuesday, 24 June 2003 08:55:57 GMT

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