30 April 2015 – On 3 June 2015, the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) GeoSemantics Domain Working Group will host a summit, “GeoSemantics: Standards Intersect Ontologies”. This summit will be part of the OGC's June 2015 Technical Committee meeting in Boulder, Colorado. The Summit's central topic is the application of ontologies in standards-based geo-information infrastructures.

The idea of the Semantic Web has been around for well over 10 years, and more recently principles of Linked Data have been gaining a lot of momentum. The Semantic Web involves data elements and connections between them being published on the Web in order to provide concrete opportunities for experimentation in semantic applications. Well defined, community agreements on semantics hold considerable promise for solving harmonization and integration of geospatial data sources from different regions, domains, and communities. Due to the universality of location and time geospatial (and temporal) semantics particularly have potential for advancing integration of both geospatial and non-geospatial data. At the same time, ontologies are increasingly a part of formal information specifications and models. This OGC summit is focused on bringing the informal linked data and formal ontology worlds closer together in the geospatial standards development process. This Call is for participants to share knowledge, present examples, and address issues involving geospatial ontologies. Topics of particular relevance include:

  1. Existing generic ontologies or vocabularies for the geospatial domain. GeoSPARQL is the only current standard, but it is focused on geometry; are there improvements to be suggested? Which other candidates are there? For example, there is the U.S. government's National System for Geospatial Intelligence (NSG) Enterprise Ontology (NEO) and NSG Feature Data Dictionary (NFDD). The W3C/OGC Spatial Data on the Web Working Group will address this topic in its “Best Practice” deliverable. However, the geospatial domain has specialized needs not likely to be addressed by the W3C. Should OGC address these needs with a central geospatial ontology standard, an assortment of geospatial ontology patterns, or general rules for formation of geospatial ontologies from other semantic / syntactic representations?
  2. Should OGC register existing or proposed domain specific ontologies/vocabularies such as Semantic Sensor Networks (SSN), USGS National Map (TNM) ontologies, OWS-10 geospatial ontologies, etc.
  3. There are many standardized spatial information models available as UML from ISO and OGC, as well as from INSPIRE and various national bodies. Work is ongoing in deriving OWL ontologies from these models; one approach is being developed in ISO 19150-2. What is the state of the art and any current issues with this sort of rule-based mapping?
  4. Linked Data and graph data models. Besides facilitating formal semantics, do graph models add value to spatial data representation in and of themselves? Are there problems yet to solve with graph models in relation to spatial data?
  5. Another application of semantics involves the use of ontologies in conjunction with OGC web services. What are the practices and issues here?
  6. Geosemantics issues have been worked on in the present OGC Testbed 11 as well as in several previous OWS testbeds. What are their lessons for the adoption of ontology and formal semantics?

To be considered for participation in the summit, please send a short abstract of your proposed contribution (200 – 400 words) to Linda van den Brink (l.vandenbrink [at] geonovum.nl) so that we can develop a final agenda appropriate to the interests and backgrounds of the participants.

Event Registration

To register for the event please visit the registration page.

About the OGC

The OGC® is a not-for-profit international consortium of more than 500 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop open and publicly available geospatial standards. OGC standards support interoperable solutions that “geo-enable” the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. Visit the OGC website at http://www.opengeospatial.org/.