RDA 10th Plenary Joint meeting: IG Global Water Information, IG Data Foundations and Terminology, IG Biodiversity Data Integration

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30 June 2017 1124 reads

Meeting title

Incremental progress on water and biodiversity vocabularies

Groups: IG Global Water Information, IG Data Foundations and Terminology, IG Biodiversity Data Integration 

Short introduction describing the activities and the scope of the groups: 

GWIIG and BDIIG each started its activities with a common goal of understanding complex domains.  Each recognized its heterogenous domain data, models and associated, diverse vocabularies required some generalized approximation representation and abstraction in order to be understood. Bringing  water and biodiversity data-related use cases for consideration at technical RDA groups has been a first step in this process of focused discussion. In the RDA context, overlapping topics of interest (e.g the concept of aquifer) between the groups include dynamic data citation for hydrologic & biodiversity time series.. At the request of some RDA domain groups prior  RDA plenaries have included domain vocabulary BoFs organized by the DFT IG to supporting improvements in understanding the scope and limitations of alternative domain vocabularies.  For example some hydro vocabularies are application specific or involve very limited conceptual models of space and time which can make exchange of data difficult. One direction of RDA domain vocabulary discussion has been how to systematically provide better semantics to domain vocabularies to support data sharing beyond superficial terminological identity. These BoFs have featured hydrologic and other vocabularies and presented lightweight ontology engineering methods as employed with Linked Data.  However, these BoFs have not afforded the time to consider and work through improvements to vocabularies using specific case-based overlaps between related domains such as water and biodiversity.  This joint session is intended to allow such focused exploration using some common interests such as surface, subsurface, atmospheric  feature observations,their location and spatial configuration and flow between them.

Meeting objectives

The objectives of the session are to make progress on the key topics of interest for the 2 domain groups. This includes discussion and possible use of lightweight knowledge engineering to draft simple, common conceptual models and associated vocabularies that help bridge the 2 areas. Among the values of this would be help with particular water and biodiversity data discovery and associated portals. The group will discuss potential deliverables and schedule of actions related to the above topics.

Meeting agenda

1. Short introduction of work to date including Identify of an integrating use case(s), data and audiences for semantic dataset annotation and discovery.  This will allow

  • Discussion of  varying "annotation depth" as required for different use cases (ie beyond flat lists of controlled terms - to eventually enable term expansion)

  • Create a list of available vocabularies and ontologies for water and biodiversity data, and their associated metadata/conceptual models;

  • Explore overlaps and complementarity of available vocabularies and ontologies, and  identify gaps;

    • what belongs and what doesn't belong in the  upper level ideas unifying the water and biodiversity domains and their associated vocabularies and  ontologies;

    • Guidelines for lower level as well? For example, handling proxy relationships

  • Standards-compliance, and relationship with various standards such as Hy-Features, WaterML2, GroundwaterML etc.  (representative co-chairs) - 20 min

2. Discussion of action plan on bringing overlapping portions of  biodiversity and water models together (all participants) - 40 mins

3. Creating the scope and action plan for firming up vocabularies of the focus area overlap (one of co-chairs) - 20 min

4. Vocabulary overlap and commonality discussion and work on bridging semantics using grounded domain reference models which feature broad coverage on the highest level overlapping the biodiversity and water domains while focusing on some key concepts and relations in the overlap of the 2 domain.  (all participants) -30 mins

As time permits there may be discussions of:

  • Additional use cases beyond discovery, eg reasoning use cases and tools, and requirements to the data model

  • Tools for efficient semantic annotation; semantic validation

  • Tools for mapping between different ontologies/controlled lists, and what mappings already exist

Additional links to informative material related to the participating groups i.e. group pages, case statements, working documents etc

GWIIG information, including its Charter and Wiki:  https://www.rd-alliance.org/groups/global-water-information-interest-group.html-0

Biodiversity Data Integration IG Case Statement: https://www.rd-alliance.org/filedepot/folder/132?fid=309

Domain Vocabulary BoFs https://www.rd-alliance.org/improved-semantics-domain-vocabulary-development-standardization-rda-9th-plenary-bof-meeting



GWIIG and Biodiversity members, including academic researchers, agency representatives and practitioners dealing with water data.

Members of other groups on particular DFT, Data Discovery, Vocabulary Services, and Dynamic Data Citation WG

Group chairs serving as contacts: Ilya Zaslavsky

Type of meeting: Working meeting

Session Room: Cartier 2

Session Time:  Wednesday 20 September, Breakout 5, 13:30 - 15:00

Collaborative session notes:



Session slides and materials: