Line C. Pouchard
Computational Science Information Specialist
Purdue University Libraries
In this project we deployed and populated an ontology repository to serve the needs of the Earth science community under the auspices of the Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP). Earth science depends on a diverse and complex data and metadata ecosystem that includes satellite and remote sensing observations, experimental results, model data, and more. ESIP is a volunteer-based, open community that brings together science, data, and information technology practitioners. Its goals include facilitating the description and exchange of Earth science data and metadata, providing cross-paths and interoperability between numerous data sources, tools and systems, and networking between members and member organizations. The ontology repository is accessible through the ESIP portal and has been hosted in the Amazon cloud. It provides access to and re-use of digital annotations to scientists looking to describe their data. We developed mappings between ontology entities in the repository to enhance the interoperability of annotations and evaluate the scope of the ontologies. We are working with ESIP to support the repository through the Semantic Technologies Committee, guide future development, gather feedback from members, and perform outreach to the community of Earth scientists. By working with ESIP we have reached out to a large and diverse audience. We achieved our initial objectives: the repository is operating and populated, supports mappings, and is used by the community. Our approach also reveals that a sustainable development and maintenance plan for such a repository is necessary to ensure availability and currency of Earth science ontologies.
Other project collaborators include Michael N. Huhns (University of South Carolina) and Thomas W. Narock (Marymount University)