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Proposed project to create an urban indicator foundation ontology

  • Creator
  • #120996

    Mark Fox

    The ultimate goal of publishing a city’s indicators is to enable the performance of longitudinal analysis (i.e., how and why a city’s indicators change over time) and transversal analysis (i.e., how and why cities differ from each other at the same time). In other words, to discover the root causes of differences and act on them. However before we can focus on analysis, we have to solve the indicator representation problem. The representation problem can be divided into four parts:
    1.    How do we represent the (ISO 37120) definition of an indicator? In order for the analysis of indicators to be automated, the software must be able to read and understand the definition of each indicator, which may change over time.
    2.    How do we represent the data used to derive an indicator value? An indicator is the apex of a tree of supporting data that is aggregated across place, time, organizations, etc. How is this represented?
    3.    How do we represent ISO 37120 theme specific knowledge? Each theme, such as Education, Health, Shelter, etc., has a core set of knowledge, that has to be represented in both the definition of an indicator and in publishing an instance of an indicator and its supporting data.
    4.    How do we represent a city’s theme specific knowledge? Each city may define concepts such as “primary school”, “grades”, “teachers”, etc. differently. Differences in indicator values may be due to differences in the interpretation of these terms between cities.
    Standards do not exist for publishing these types of data. This project will define a standard for representing and publishing data used by cities to derive their indicators.  Secondly, this standard will also be used to publish ISO 37120 and other indicator definitions in a machine readable form. The availability of an upper level ontology for indicator definitions and supporting data will enable the development of software tools that can read, analyse and identify root causes of city performance. This project will deliver an international standard that specifies an upper level ontology for representing Smart City indicator definitions and the data used to derive them.

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