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Re: Workshop: Practical Semantic Astronomy

From: Norman Gray <norman@astro.gla.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2007 17:37:58 +0100
Message-Id: <530CFDD7-6011-41E5-8804-83E4C226781D@astro.gla.ac.uk>
Cc: Semantic web list <semantic-web@w3.org>, Linking Open Data <linking-open-data@simile.mit.edu>
To: Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org>

Karl, hello.

On 2007 Sep 28, at 06:30, Karl Dubost wrote:

> Norman Gray (22 sept. 2007 - 21:37) :
>> We are pleased to announce a workshop to be held at Caltech,  
>> Pasadena, USA from Monday 18 - Thursday 21 February 2008 on  
>> Practical Semantic Astronomy (http://www.cacr.caltech.edu/semast).
>> What you may ask is "Semantic Astronomy", let alone "Practical  
>> Semantic Astronomy"?
> Could you give a few pointers to information mixing Semantic Web  
> technologies and Astronomy?

There are few so far, but we hope there are some on the way.

The various Virtual Observatory (VO) projects (see <http:// 
www.ivoa.net>) are working together to make astronomical data much  
more easily available, to professional astronomers in the first  
instance, but with amateurs and the public targeted further down the  
line.  That requires addressing a number of problems, of searching  
(semantic and otherwise), data modelling, grid computing, application  
development and more.

For example:

   * I want to find databases that have information about compact  
objects; database X describes itself as having information about  
quasars (which are a type of compact object), so I want to hear about  

   * I'm looking at a picture described using an astronomy outreach  
vocabulary, and I want to find journal articles discussing it,  
described using a multi-journal list of keywords.

   * Your archive stores your data using one model; my application  
uses a slightly different one; how do we go about making your data  
accessible to me?

There's a lot of astronomical metadata out there, in the wild, and it  
seems very clear that semantic technologies can have a big impact  
here.  This argument is slowly being won within the VO, and this  
workshop is about pulling together the people who are persuaded of  
that, and putting them in touch with people who have gone ahead of us  
(for example the bioinformatics community), and with SW folk looking  
for interesting use-cases.

Right now, the workshop appears to have about 50:50 CS and astronomy  
people registered.  It's looking good so far, so come along!  <http:// 

Myself, I hope to be spending a _lot_ more time on the  
LinkingOpenData list in the future.

All the best,


Norman Gray  :  http://nxg.me.uk
eurovotech.org  :  University of Leicester, UK
Received on Tuesday, 16 October 2007 16:38:27 UTC

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