OGC participating in 2012 Air Transportation Information Exchange Conference – Part 2

I attended the second day at the 2012 Air Transportation Information Exchange Conference, at NOAA in Silver Spring (See Nadine's related blog here). The first three talks were focused on semantics. Then my colleague Nadine Alameh gave a rich multimedia overview (70 Mb presentation) about OGC and OGC Web Services activities (OWS). I talked about the semantic work being advanced in OWS.

The first talk was excellent. Dave McComb did a great job in presenting an introduction to semantics and providing two main approaches about how to start implementing semantic technologies in an organization: tactical or strategically. A tactical approach is like what we do at OGC with pilots and OGC Web Services initiatives, where we focus on a concrete problem (requirement) and prototype a practical solution. We can call these activities proof of concept or risk reduction activities.

The second talk by Dennis Wisnosky was also excellent. He has a great experience from his previous job as DoD CTO & Chief Architect.  He presented three main ideas: The need for Business Process Models to identify the need for services in service oriented architectures; cloud computing to scale; and semantic technology for real integration.  So identifying OGC web services and other types of web services using Business Process Modeling is always part of the architecting process. The semantic layer provides the semantic disambiguation required for richer interoperability, but it is hard to think that it will replace the web services layer.  He also summarized the most important use case while in DoD: "Where is my stuff?" I was very happy to hear that and felt good about working for OGC.

The third talk was given by Deborah Cowell and Candice Buchanan; they are both strategically working on a core and specialized ontologies for FAA. Some of these ontologies are being used in OWS-9 in the Cross Community Interoperability (CCI) Thread. They presented a great example about a lighthouse and how it can be seen differently by different users. For example, it can be seen as an obstruction by pilots or a point of interest by tourist.

My talk focused on the work done in OWS-9, where we are allowing pilots to search by common terms (from a glossary) and the search returns a feature from a WFS/AIXM service.  A Web processing Service (WPS) does the magic. It relies on a backend SPARQL server that solves the mapping between the glossary terms and AIXM features.

Its great to see that in different domains Semantics is taking a more important role every day. I guess that is because we have already solved the systems, syntactic and structural heterogeneities.

Finally, after my talk, Hubert Lepori and Kajal Calypool talked about a common model for aviation. Hubert talked about AIRM as the “common dictionary”. I’m intrigued to see what will be advanced in OWS-10 in 2013. Will there be a Semantic Aviation Thread?