Re: purpose/goals for observations ontologies

On Aug 4, 2009, at 10:20 AM, Kevin R. Page wrote:

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

I am having trouble with this framing; maybe just an ambiguity, or  
maybe more.

I agree that use cases about the (actual output) data *produced by*  
sensors exist. Use cases about the data *describing* actual sensors  
(name, size, color, and all that) also exist. The latter is what I  
thought a device ontology should encompass.  The sensor description  
instance needs to include a characterization of the kind and format of  
data that the sensor *can* produce.  All of that is included in what I  
would call a description/model/ontology of a sensor.  But not actual  
data outputs.

So, which of these did you mean by 'user-oriented (data)'?  (I suggest  
that 'user-oriented' is entirely a function of the user, and some  
users care only about the devices, not their data; so maybe this isn't  
an optimal term.)

Will the introduction of the 'process oriented' way of looking at the  
device -- the framing introduced by SensorML, which I have heard  
summarized as "the sensor is a process", right? -- tell me more, less,  
or the same information as a 'simple descriptive model'?  Put another  
way, is there necessarily any difference between the two?  I am sorry  
if this is a basic question or has already been discussed.

To tie this back to the larger question I started with, It just seems  
to me that where some element comes from a process, the ontology will  
naturally describe that ("sensor producesDataRecord recordType1"). I  
didn't have to make the device into a process a priori, and I embed  
O&M-type concepts (from O&M or elsewhere) only as they are needed by  
the description of the sensor.


John Graybeal   <>  -- 831-775-1956
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Marine Metadata Interoperability Project:

Received on Tuesday, 4 August 2009 19:53:00 UTC