Applying Ontologies and Semantic Web technologies to Environmental Sciences and Engineering
by Viral Parekh
Friday, May 6, 2005, 9:00am
To address these problems, we propose to use ontologies and emerging Semantic Web technologies. Ontologies provide shared domain models that are understandable to both humans as well as machines. We used the Web Ontology Language (OWL) to define ontologies with the objective of improving data sharing and integration. These ontologies define several domain concepts and describe a variety of domain models being used within environmental sciences and engineering. Metadata ontology is developed to define every facet of environmental datasets. Its aim is to provide a conceptual schema for the dataset using the available domain ontologies. The overall goal is to achieve content based retrieval of datasets and integration of heterogeneous data. We demonstrate a few applications which use the developed ontologies to solve common environmental problems. Our results suggest that ontologies and Semantic Web technologies like RDF and OWL may provide the much needed semantics within these diverse domains of environmental sciences and engineering, and hence may serve as the building blocks for innovative solutions to existing problems.