An Ontology Pattern for Oceanographic Cruises: Towards an Oceanographer's Dream of Integrated Knowledge Discovery

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EarthCube is a major effort of the National Science Foundation to establish a next-generation knowledge architecture for the broader geosciences. Data storage, retrieval, access, and reuse are central parts of this new effort. Currently, EarthCube is organized around several building blocks and research coordination networks. OceanLink is a semantic-enabled building block that aims at improving data retrieval and reuse via ontologies, SemanticWeb technologies, and Linked Data for the ocean sciences. Cruises, in the sense of research expeditions, are central events for ocean scientists. Consequently, information about these cruises and the involved vessels has to be shared and made retrievable. For example, the ability to find cruises in the vicinity of physiographic features of interest, e.g., a hydrothermal vent field or a fracture zone, is of primary interest for oceanographers. In this paper, we use a design pattern-centric strategy to engineer ontologies for OceanLink. We provide a formal axiomatization of the introduced patterns and ontologies using the Web Ontology Language, explain design choices, discuss the re-usability of our models, and provide lessons learned for future geo-ontologies.

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Wright State University

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